16 High Protein Snacks for Picky Eaters


Looking for high protein snacks for picky eaters can be tough, no matter their age. I’m a dietitian and a mom, and I’ve found some great snacks that are full of protein and taste good too.

These are the snacks that have won over my toughest critics at home. They’re simple, tasty, and keep everyone happy and full.

Want to know what these snacks are? Check out the rest of this post to find snacks that even picky eaters will love. My list also has on the go snacks for all of us with busy families.

Let’s get snacking!

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Ideas for high protein snacks for picky eaters

Some picky eaters favor higher carb snacks and you might be worried about your athlete not getting enough protein, however that shouldn’t be the case.

While these are hits at my house, they may not be at yours, but hopefully these will give you some ideas that you can adjust based on what works for your family.

1. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Peanut butter, a staple in many households, is a fantastic source of protein and pairs nicely with the sweet flavor of jelly. This classic combination isn’t just for kids; it’s a quick and satisfying snack for anyone. 

The possibilities for this high protein snack are endless. Plus, if you have a picky eater who doesn’t like peanut butter, you can find a variety of nut butters and fruit spread

You can also sneak in a little fiber with our recommendations for high fiber bread.

Protein: 10-12 grams per sandwich

2. Edamame

Edamame are not only a protein powerhouse but also a fun and interactive snack, especially if you steam them still in the pods. They’re perfect steamed and lightly salted, offering a combination of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins. 

Edamame are a great high protein snack for picky eaters who enjoy a bit of hands-on eating and a salty mellow taste. For a crunchy and salty snack, you can also find dry roasted packaged options.

Protein: 18 grams per cup

3. Yogurt

Low fat Greek yogurt is a versatile high protein snack that can be sweet or savory. It’s a great base for mix-ins like fruits, granola, nuts, or even a drizzle of honey. 

Offering calcium, probiotics and a creamy texture, yogurt is a top choice for a nutritious, protein-rich snack.

Protein: 16 grams per 6 ounce serving

4. Turkey rollups

A twist on traditional sandwiches, turkey rollups are a fun finger food. Using lean turkey slices wrapped around cheese or veggies, they make a convenient and protein-packed snack. 

These rollups are a hit with picky eaters due to their simplicity and finger-food nature. We like to pair these with crackers or pita, making a protein snack box.

Protein: 9-12 grams protein per rollup

5. Hummus

Hummus is a smooth and savory spread that pairs well with almost anything. It’s a fantastic dip for veggies, crackers, or pita, making it a versatile high protein snack for picky eaters. 

Plus, with various flavors available and even dips made with beans or lentils, there’s an option for every palate. Shelf stable packs make for easy grab and go options.

Protein: 3 grams for a single serve cup

bowls with red hummus and two regular hummus, bowl with cucumbers, radish and carrots

6. Cottage cheese with fruits

Cottage cheese is a best kept secret in the world of high protein snacks. It’s a versatile snack that can be sweet or savory.

When paired with fresh fruits like berries or peaches, it becomes a sweet treat. Or we like to make a savory snack dipping our favorite crackers in a self serve container.

This snack rich protein food can be blended into a smoothie to create a creamy texture. It’s also high in casein and because this is a slower digested protein, it makes for a great bedtime snack.

Protein: 13 grams per 1/2 cup

7. Hard-boiled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a high quality protein-rich snack that’s both simple and versatile.

Not only are they rich in protein, with all nine essential amino acids, but they also offer other nutrients such as choline, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium, which are important for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and immune function.

They can be eaten plain, seasoned with a pinch of salt, or turned into deviled eggs for a more flavorful twist. 

This snack is a convenient option for high protein needs since you can buy ready to eat hard boiled eggs too.

Protein: 6 grams per egg

8. Tuna salad on crackers

While some picky eaters don’t like tuna, tuna salad can be a game winner for some. Tuna, a lean protein source, makes for an excellent high protein snack when mixed into a salad. 

Served on whole-grain crackers, it’s a satisfying and nutritious choice for picky eaters who enjoy a bit of crunch. Another easy option is tuna packets that are ready to eat and

Protein: 16 grams per half cup

9. Almond butter on apple slices

Almond butter is a nutritious alternative to peanut butter and pairs well with apple slices, or really any other food like bananas, pears, celery or crackers.

The almond butter adds a smooth, buttery texture and a nutty depth to the crisp, refreshing bite of the apple. This pairing is perfect for a midday snack, a post-workout refuel, or even a quick breakfast option.

This snack provides a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, and essential nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium.

Protein: 7 grams per 2 tablespoons

10. Simple high-protein smoothie

Smoothies are a fantastic choice for picky eaters needing a high-protein boost. Start with your preferred milk. One cup of cow’s milk has about 8 grams of protein, high protein milk contains around 15 grams of protein and calcium.

Plant-based milks like soy milk can have similar protein content 8-13 grams of protein, but other milk alternatives may have less.

Blend in a ripe banana for natural sweetness and a smooth texture. Add a heaping spoonful of peanut butter (7 grams of protein) or protein powder (20-25 grams of protein) for a protein kick and a touch of nutty flavor.

This simple, tasty combination creates a smoothie that’s not only protein-rich but also appealing to those with selective tastes. 

Perfect for a quick breakfast or a nourishing snack, it’s a surefire hit for anyone looking for a delicious, protein-packed treat.

Protein: 30 grams of protein (depending on your ingredients) per serving

Convenient packaged high protein snacks

If you’re short on time or need snacks on-the-go, which I think so many of us are, there are plenty of packaged options available. Just remember to check the nutrition information on the package to double check the protein content.

I like to have some ready to eat high protein snacks in the pantry and stashed in my bag or car so that when my kids are hungry, we have snacks we can rely on.

11. Roasted chickpeas and fava beans

Roasted chickpeas and fava beans are a crunchy, savory treat, perfect for picky eaters. They’re packed with protein and fiber, making them a great choice for anyone needing a nutritious boost, especially athletes or active kids.

They make a great alternative to chips, offering a satisfying salty crunch to satisfy a craving.

Since they come with a variety of seasoning options you’ll be sure to find one that your picky eater enjoys. 

Protein: 7 grams per serving

bowl of roasted chickpeas

12. Yogurt squeeze sticks

Yogurt squeeze tubes, often enjoyed by kids and adults alike for their convenience and taste offer a great source of protein.

These sticks are an easy on-the-go snack, offering a cool, refreshing treat that’s both nutritious and enjoyable. You can choose from a variety of flavors and products.

Protein: 6-7 grams per tube (depending on the product)

13. Protein bars

Protein bars come in a variety of flavors and textures, offering a convenient and satisfying high protein snack option. They’re perfect for on-the-go eating and can cater to different dietary preferences, including gluten-free and vegan.

However, it’s worth noting that some picky eaters might be put off by the texture and taste of these bars. They can sometimes have a chalkier texture and a less appealing flavor compared to other snacks.

It’s important to find a brand and flavor that suits your taste preferences, especially if you’re sensitive to texture and taste. Or you may opt for a protein bar with a bit less protein but better flavor.

Protein: 10-25 grams per bar (depending on the bar)

14. Jerky/Chomps

Jerky, whether it’s made from beef, chicken, turkey, or salmon, is a fantastic snack that’s loaded with protein and perfect for munching on the go.

A 1-ounce serving of beef jerky typically contains about 9 grams of protein, while chicken jerky offers around 11 grams. Turkey jerky is slightly higher, with 13 grams per ounce, and salmon jerky tops the list with 15 grams per serving.

For those seeking plant-based options, vegan jerky made from ingredients like soy, mushrooms, or beyond meats contains around 6 grams per serving.

Protein: 6-15 grams per serving depending on the type of jerky

15. Nut and seed mixes

Pre-packaged nut and seed mixes offer a crunchy and protein-rich snacking option. These mixes can include almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and more, providing both variety and a high protein punch.

They also provide healthy fats, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and magnesium, supporting overall health.

Protein: 7 grams per serving

16. Cheese crisps

Cheese crisps are a delightful snack that offers the rich, savory taste of cheese with a pleasing crunch. They’re an excellent high-protein alternative to traditional chips, with about 5 to 6 grams of protein per serving.

This makes them particularly appealing to picky eaters who might be looking for a tasty yet nutritious snack. Cheese crisps are not only enjoyable but also provide a good dose of calcium and can be a part of a balanced diet.

They’re perfect for on-the-go snacking, lunchboxes, or as a satisfying afternoon treat.

I like to crumble these on top of a salad or rice bowl too for an added crunch and flavor kick.

Protein: 5-6 grams per serving

Snack time tips for picky eaters

Kids refusing certain foods or eating a limited range of foods is not uncommon. But it’s best not to force them to eat. Instead, offer choices, variety and keep encouraging them to try a bite.

Here are some strategies to encourage your picky eater to eat more protein, and really a variety of foods:

1. Empower them with choices

Let your eater choose between hummus or cottage cheese with their veggies, or Greek yogurt parfait or a smoothie for their afternoon snack. And encourage your picky eater to shop with you or create a grocery list.

This gives them a sense of control over the foods they choose and also helps them to build habits.

2. Have fun with food

Create fun shapes or serve protein-rich foods in unique using cookie cutters, finger food options, snack boxes and more. Cheese stars, egg flowers, or turkey roll-ups can make snack time more interesting.

Put these foods into a bento box container to make a mini meal at snack time.

3. Combine favorites

Add protein-rich foods to your family’s favorite dishes. Add shredded chicken to a pasta can be a hit. Blend cottage cheese into a smoothie to add creaminess and a protein boost. Or make

4. Introduce variety

Gradually introduce different protein sources and cooking methods to change up the texture and flavor. Continue offering food choices as the more they try different foods, the more likely they will find something they like. 

5. Stay positive

Celebrate small victories when your athlete tries new foods. Focus on the benefits of eating protein, like feeling strong and energetic.

Over time if you follow these tips, your eater will hopefully become more interested in trying new foods.

Final thoughts

High protein snacks for picky eaters don’t have to be elaborate or unfamiliar. By focusing on simple, well-liked foods and incorporating protein-rich ingredients, you can create snacks that are both appealing and nutritious. 

These choices ensure that even the most selective eaters can enjoy a variety of tasty and healthy options.

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