Snack Foods That Don’t Need to Be Refrigerated

For people between the ages of 5 and 23, going back to school is a standard — and sometimes unsettling — part of life. We've put together easy recipes and food tips to help make the entire experience way more appetizing.

Whether you're looking to stock your dorm room or office with ready-to-eat snacks, this is the list you need. All of these items will keep unrefrigerated for a while, and they offer plenty of filling fiber and protein to satisfy your snack attack.

Nuts: Nuts are one of the best, most shelf-stable snacks you can keep on hand. Almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios are all good choices, offering healthy fats, fiber and protein — three things that keep you feeling full and satisfied. Get them raw or roasted and unsalted for the healthiest choice.

Trail mix/dried fruit: In that vein, you can either add dried fruit to your list of on-hand snacks or get a premixed trail mix. Dried apricots or raisins are standbys, but don’t forget about really flavorful dried pineapple and dried mango (look for ones that don’t have added sugar).

Peanut butter: Peanut butter is loaded with protein and healthy fats. Keep it on hand to pair with fresh fruit or to smear on crackers or a whole-wheat tortilla.

100 percent whole-grain crackers: Crunchy crackers are one of the ultimate snack foods. Just look for varieties that are ideally 100 percent whole-grain so they have more fiber and nutrients. Wasa crackers — those thin and crispy rye crackers — are a good choice.

Cereal: Toss this in with nuts and dried fruit to bulk up a trail mix, eat it straight or team it with yogurt. Look for a cereal that’s 100 percent whole-grain, high in fiber and low in added sugars, like Cheerios or Wheaties.

Energy bars: There are so many energy bars on the market, it’s hard to tease apart what you should be looking for. Some of them have lots of added sugars, so I usually recommend that people stick to 100 percent fruit-and-nut bars, which deliver natural sugar and protein.

Apples: They don’t last indefinitely (but what does?), but apples will keep unrefrigerated for at least a week. Apples give you fiber (which keeps you full), as well as disease-fighting phytochemicals. Plus, they’re easy to grab and go.

Cans of soup (low-sodium): It takes some preparation — open and heat — but canned soup is good to keep on hand. Look for one that’s low in sodium and that has lots of vegetables for the healthiest option.

Vacuum-packed tuna: OK, this might fall more into the category of “quick meal” than "snack," but this kind of tuna is great to have on hand with crackers for an easy snack or lunch. Tuna has Omega-3s, which help keep your brain sharp.

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.


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