The ultimate guide to health back-to-school snacks


Skip the vending machine!

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You may still be soaking up the sun and frolicking beachside, but the school year will be upon us before you know it. Whether you’re commuting from home or living in a nearby dorm, life is about to get a lot more hectic, and you're going to need to fuel up. Don't make a mad dash to the vending machine, though! You can make the following healthy snacks at home. It's easy, they're tasty, you'll save money and you'll thank yourself for skipping the diet cola and stale gummy bears.


Trail mix remixed

Trail mix is the ultimate cheap and easy snack to throw in your bag. Check out these great recipes and tips for making a seriously tasty nosh that will get you through that hellish four-hour lecture.


Mix and match trail mix


Click to embiggen.

Via Prevention

This excellent infographic highlights the ease and versatility of trail mix. In addition to standard ingredients such as dried fruit, nuts and chocolate, you’ll find less conventional add-ins like candied ginger, protein-rich toasted buckwheat groats, antioxidant goji berries and fiber-rich figs and dates. Just mix and go!


Irresistible Chewy Trail Mix Cookies

Oh She Glows 

Via Oh She Glows

This is not your standard oatmeal cookie. These vegan and gluten-free bites of yumminess contain lots of nutritious ingredients like protein-packed almonds, dark chocolate and chia seeds for a filling, healthy snack. You don't need to be vegan to fill up on these cookies when you barely have time to breathe in between classes.


No Bake Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Granola Bars

Running with Scissors 

Via Running With Spoons

This delicious bar is peanut-free, gluten-free and vegan. (If you’re allergic to coconut, substitute an appropriate oil.) However, you can replace sunflower seed butter and brown rice syrup in favor of more budget-friendly nut butter and honey if your diet allows. Pro tip: Don’t skip the pretzels. Go gluten-free or traditional, but the crunch and flavor make them the perfect substitute for nuts. Also, the bars can get a bit sticky if left out too long, so the faster you eat these after taking them out of the fridge, the better.


Delicious bean dips

When you’re frantically writing that term paper or studying for that killer test, it’s tempting to feast on junk food. Not so fast! Try one of these bean dips and stay focused and full.


Simple Hummus Without Tahini

The Wholesome Dish 

Via The Wholesome Dish

Thanks to lemon, olive oil, garlic and cumin, this savory dip has the satisfying flavors of traditional hummus without the added expense of tahini, making it work for a college student’s budget as well as for those who are allergic to sesame seeds. Raw garlic is potent, so heed that one garlic clove measurement to ensure a balanced flavor profile, and use a fruity olive oil to enhance the overall taste.


Five 3-ingredient dips for smart snacking

Kelli Foster for The Kitchn 

Via The Kitchn

Step outside the hummus zone and try these five equally tasty dips that are cheap and easy to make. Love baba ghanoush? Go with a blend of white beans, charred eggplant and harissa paste. Guacamole lovers can satisfy their cravings with a guac/hummus hybrid consisting of avocado, garbanzos and cilantro. Black-eyed peas, bacon and pickled jalapeño are sure to bring some spice to your study session, as will the insanely yummy combination of black beans, chipotles in adobo and Greek yogurt. The black bean and garbanzo dips are the easiest of the bunch to make, so novices can start there.


Crunchy crackers on the cheap

You’re going to need something to dunk into those dips. Veggies like carrots and pepper strips are great ideas, but sometimes, you want carbs. Try these amazing recipes for delicious DIY crackers that fit your budget. You can also pack these up for snacking on the run!


Bagel Chips

PBS Food 

Via PBS Food

This recipe is genius on so many levels. First, it’s an incredible money saver because you can buy a pack of bagels for cheap. Second, you don’t need to be a baking pro to make these: cut bagels, add olive oil, bake, add spices, done. Third, the flavor possibilities are endless. You can choose literally any bagel flavor and seasonings you want. Oh, and best of all? They taste way better than anything you’ll get from a bag.


Smokey Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Food Network 

Via Food Network

Cheese crackers are a snacking staple, and this awesome recipe takes them to the next level. These require some effort, but they’re made from simple, affordable ingredients and taste outrageous. Also, you can experiment with flavors by using different spices and cheeses.

Happy snacking!