Ask Amelia Tips

High Protein Snacks to Take On the Go


Its easy to grab a granola bar, a handful of crackers, or a piece of fruit when you’re running out the door, but “portable protein” is harder to come by.  Thus, many of us with busy lifestyles end up overdoing it on carbs and under-doing it on lean and healthy protein.  Here are some ideas for high protein snacks you can keep around to eat on-the-run.

1.  Greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt now comes in so many delicious flavors that you’ll never get bored — and they range from 14-20 grams of protein in just a 6 oz serving, which is more than you’ll find hardly anywhere!  Pair plain yogurt with some berries, a piece of fruit, or a sprinkle of nuts/granola for a balanced snack.

oikos pineapple

2. Canned salmon. Only it’s not canned, it’s in packets!  These packets of salmon come in yummy flavors like Lemon & Dill and Teriyaki, and offer a whopping 25 grams of protein per 4-oz serving.

high protein snacks

3.  Jerky. Yes, jerky is a healthy choice, as long as you buy a high quality kind that’s either organic or from sustainably raised cattle.  A one ounce serving will provide you with 13 grams of protein, so when combined with a high-fiber fruit or whole grain, it’s a tasty, satisfying snack.

high protein snacks

4. Cottage cheese. This is the highest protein dairy product that you can take on-the-run.  Many brands come in small individual containers, but since dairy is one of the foods you should buy organic, its worth buying Horizon Organic cottage cheese and putting it in a little to-go cup before you leave the house.  Horizon’s lowfat version offers 13 grams of protein in just a 1/2 cup serving.

high protein snacks

5. Peanut Butter. Wait, peanut butter is portable?  Yes!  Thanks to Peanut Butter & Co Squeeze Packs, you can now bring peanut butter on the go.  Squeeze it onto baby carrots, whole grain crackers, or an apple for a tasty, high-protein snack.

high protein snacks

6. Packaged Baked Tofu. These pre-baked, pre-seasoned tofu “steaks” will erase any memory you have of tasting bland tofu.  They’re fantastic, and you can sink your teeth into a block when you’re on-the-run and know that you’re getting 15 grams of healthy protein.

high protein snacks

7. CalNaturale Svelte protein shake. I am not a big fan of protein shakes.  But Svelte offers something different — 16 grams of protein from whole soybeans (not soy protein isolate) and lower sugar content without any added artificial sweeteners.  Plus these meal replacements (at 260 calories, they’re more than just a snack for most of us) taste DELICIOUS, come in convenient on-the-go packs, and are made with organic soybeans.  I still wouldn’t choose these over a whole foods snack, but when you’re on the run and a drink is the only option, they’re the best option.

high protein snacks

8. Kashi GoLean instant hot cereal. This tastier twist on oatmeal offers 8 grams of protein per packet, and can be made in a flash with hot water or milk in a to-go mug.  Bonus: you also get 5g fiber in this mini-meal, which will help keep you satisfied longer.

high protein snacks


  • shelley hudson
    August 2, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Meels, I feel like you wrote that just for me! 🙂 All great ideas and better alternatives to my usual out-the-door snack. Where can I find the peanut butter squeezy things?

  • Amelia
    August 3, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I’m glad this is helpful! You can buy the squeeze packs online: (there’s a direct link to the squeeze packs in #5 above). I’m happy to report these also come in the Dark Chocolate Dreams flavor…and they’re perfect for those of us who have trouble with portion size 🙂

  • mom
    February 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    you can also get some thing like that at sprouts in Frisco- Denton Theres lots of places were you can get it.

  • Stephen Fox
    March 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Interesting. A (mild) argument over the cost of macadamia nuts in our house led to a fairly involved analysis of nutrition economics. I ended up creating a spreadsheet of our most common foods and included macronutrient breakdowns as well as cost per calorie (cents/Cal.) I found your website while looking for information on Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus nutrition drinks. Your conclusions are right in line with my analysis. My wife and daughter are anti-fat and eat non-fat yogurt, protein drinks, and fruit. (With the occasional Mahi or Salmon.) I eat on the opposite end of the macronutrient spectrum, eating mostly nuts, berries, whole milk yogurt, cheese, chicken, shrimp, or fish….with the occasional smoked pork shoulder or beef brisket. We do all eat vegetables. I just shake my head when my wife struggles to “get her steps in” while eating so much sugar. Anyway, my point is that you do not include a cost factor in your high protein snack foods. Prepackaged salmon and the like is incredibly expensive. If you would like to do a column on nutrition economics, please let me know. I would be glad to share the information I’ve gathered for our own family.

  • Amelia Winslow
    March 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    It’s true – cost is important – to almost all of us (definitely my family). Not every article on this site encompasses every aspect, but I do try to touch on cost and give people tools to help stretch their food dollars, while simultaneously thinking about nutrients, the environment, animal welfare, and fair prices for farmers. There’s a lot to balance but making thoughtful decisions is what will impact our food system and our health the most.

  • Madeline Gutierrez
    May 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I’m with you on the protein economics.

    I think about all my “cold” no cooking alternatives to breakfast in relationship to an egg or two I could have boiled the night before.

    2 boiled eggs. Organic humanely raised at the moment around me are usually $.75 to $.90 for 2.
    And equal 12 grams of protein.

    Now I do think about probiotics, free-radicals, and all the rest and worry about the sugar content.

    I can be okay with the carb to protein ratios think some already bottled including the occasional bolt.

    Especially because as a meal replacement 420 calories to get 36 grams of proteins and the other stuff I can be okay with a Bolt product. Especially when on BOGO sales.

    Kashi has had to pay out on a class action law suit because their packaging does not reveal on many -many – (emphasis on many) of their products from cereals to frozen dinners that they ARE NOT GMO free. By the way. And I loved some of them.

    Not saying any other product or consumable is at the moment – BUT responding to the posts here on protein drinks and this post – be aware we need to look up our Kashi products if we want to try to stay away from Gentically Modified ingredients.


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