test-6 Healthy Movie Snacks You’ll Love
Food & Nutrition
6 Healthy Movie Snacks You’ll Love
Lindsey Toth, MS, RD • May 11, 2018

Bored with movie night popcorn? Want some new snacks to nosh while you Netflix and chill? We don’t blame you. Plus, prepackaged movie snacks and drinks can be loaded with nutritional offenders like tons of sodium and added sweeteners—ingredients that don’t always align with your nutritional goals. That’s not to mention the artificial butter flavoring and saturated fat you may find in packaged popcorn.

So, the next time you cozy up to catch the latest flicks, reach for one of these healthy options instead. You could even pack some portable bites in snack bags before heading to the theater. We promise not to tell!

1. Kale Chips

It’s no secret that kale is a superfood. Nutritional experts have even called it the “world’s healthiest food.”1 It’s high in fiber and potassium, and it’s packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that promote healthy hair, skin, bones.1 In fact, a single cup of kale contains 206% of the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of vitamin A, 684% of the RDA of vitamin K, 134% of vitamin C, plus manganese, calcium, copper, and more.2

Your regular bag of chips pales in comparison, so make a batch of these delicious and nutritious kale chips and satisfy that crunchy-snack craving. They’re super easy to make. Here’s a great recipe for the perfect kale chips from the Minimalist Baker.3

What you’ll need:

How to make it:

    • Rinse, dry and tear the kale into small pieces, minus the stems
    • Add to a mixing bowl, drizzle with coconut or avocado oil and toss with seasonings
    • Spread kale pieces onto baking sheets with space between each piece
    • Bake at 225 F for 15 minutes, then lightly toss and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes
    • Let the chips sit for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven for an extra crispy treat

2. Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, Egyptian peas—no matter what you call these legumes they’re delicious. We love them in hummus, tossed in our salads and even dried and stone ground for a gluten-free flour, but did you know you can roast them for an insanely delicious, crunchy movie snack?

Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, with over 7 grams of protein per half cup of peas.4 Here’s how to turn them into a movie snack you are sure to love.

What you’ll need:

How to make it:

    • Toss chickpeas in a bowl with all the ingredients until coated
    • Spread them on a baking sheet
    • Bake at 400 F for 30-40 minutes

3. Fresh Fruit

Satisfy your movie-time sweet tooth with fresh fruit. Get creative and make colorful skewers with chunks of pineapple, strawberry, melons and bananas and enjoy with a side of yogurt for dipping. Dip some strawberries in melted dark chocolate. Freeze some grapes on a baking sheet (line it with parchment paper first) for bite-sized icy treats. Or keep it simple and mix up a bowl of sliced fruit favorites. Any way you do it, fresh fruit is sure to be a nutritional hit.

What you’ll need:

    • Fresh fruit
    • Your imagination!

4. Infused Water

While you have that fresh fruit on hand, forget prepacked sodas and opt for the hydrating freshness of your very own water infusions. We love them so much we’ve written a whole article about the benefits of infused water and how to make them. All you need is some cut fruit, filtered or sparkling water and maybe a few herbs to kick up the flavor!

What you’ll need:

    • Sliced or cubed fruit
    • A few sprigs of fresh herbs
    • Filtered or sparkling water

How to make it:

    • Grab a reusable water container or infusion bottle
    • Add the fruit and herbs (we’re loving watermelon and basil right now)
    • Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight)
    • Enjoy!

For more infused water recipes, check out Infused Water Benefits and Water for the Win: Benefits of Water, Plus 5 Water Infusions to Try.

5. Guacamole with Kale (Guac-Kale-Mole)

You can leave out the kale if you want, but we love this nutritious take on guacamole. Avocados are a source of healthy fat, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, magnesium and more.5 Pair it with fresh cut veggies or baked chips of your choice.

What you’ll need:

    • 3 Avocados
    • 1/2 of a chopped red onion
    • 2 cups of diced kale
    • 2 mediums of seeded, diced jalapeno
    • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
    • 3 cloves of diced garlic

How to make it:

    • Cut, pit and peel the avocados and put in a bowl
    • Chop or dice the garlic, jalapenos, red onions and kale
    • Smash avocados with a fork, add veggies and mix well
    • Add lemon juice and mix more
    • Add a little sea salt to taste
    • Serve with fresh cut veggies or baked chips of your choice

6. Homemade Popcorn

If you’re still craving movie night popcorn, try a healthy spin on this traditional favorite by making your own seasonings with herbs and spices from your pantry. But first, pop your own popcorn instead of getting pre-made or microwave options. Here are two recipes to try.

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

This sweet treat is anything but ordinary! It tastes like a cinnamon-bun dream.

What you’ll need:

How to make it:

    • Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl
    • Add the popcorn to another bowl and give it a quick, light spray of coconut oil while tossing
    • Sprinkle the dry ingredients on top and toss until evenly coated

Parmesan Rosemary Popcorn

Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant, not to mention it’s delicious! Definitely try this one at home.

What you’ll need:

How to make it:

    • Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl
    • Add the popcorn to another bowl and give it a quick, light spray of olive oil while tossing
    • Sprinkle the dry ingredients on top and toss until evenly coated

For more home-made popcorn seasoning recipes, check out the post What’s Poppin’? 7 Easy Recipes for Homemade Popcorn Seasoning.

Healthy Snacks for Movie Night

You have plenty of options for movie night beyond the traditional faux-butter popcorn and candy. From kale chips to roasted chickpeas and your very own fruit infusions, plus fresh takes on popcorn with dried herbs and spices—you’ll never run out of ways to kick up the healthy ingredients on movie night.

Here are a few more snack ideas from our recipe archives! Try Protein Packed Edamame Hummus for a low-calorie, high fiber and high protein dip alternative. Make your very own Healthy Fruit Snacks with nutritious ingredients like elderberry, tart cherry, and acai. Or whip up a batch of these Greek Pizza Bites for something a little heartier.

What are your favorite healthy movie snacks? Tell us below and be sure to check out Pack Your Pantry: How to Make a Real Food Pantry and Get Supermarket Smart: Grocery Store Hacks for healthy staples to keep on hand all week long.

Lindsey Bristol, Swanson Health Products

About Lindsey Toth, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health Products

Lindsey is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for ice cream. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food.

Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health Products.


1 What are the health benefits of kale? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270435.php (Accessed 05/10/2018)

2 10 Health Benefits of Kale. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-kale (Accessed 05/10/2018)

3 How to Make Kale Chips. Minimalist Baker. https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-kale-chips/ (Accessed 05/10/2018)

4 Chickpeas. United States Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/16359 (Accessed 05/10/2018)

5 Avocados. United States Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/09037 (Accessed 05/10/2018)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.