Starts & Snacks

Thyroid-Friendly Snack Ideas

By: Ginny Mahar

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo

It’s a busy week. You’re short on sleep and don’t have time to prepare a meal. You tell yourself you’ll figure out what to eat later, but when later comes you’re ravenously hungry and still have nothing on hand, and no time to cook. Your blood sugar spikes, your tummy growls, and before you know it, you’ve fallen face first into a bag of chips from the gas station or cookies from the vending machine.

We’ve all been there. But we’re also here. You came to Thyroid Refresh® and/or THYROID30® on a quest to optimize your health. You may be on a restricted diet or trying to cut out inflammatory foods like refined sugar, refined oils, and refined wheat flour. Succeeding at making these life changes takes planning, preparation, willpower, and forethought.

When you’re altering the way you eat, having a few quick fuel choices is a good strategy for staying on track, and one of the best ways to set yourself up for success.

Below, you’ll find a list of whole-food, nutrient-dense snack ideas in both on-the-fly and make-in-advance categories. All of these options exclude wheat, dairy, refined sugar, refined oils, grains, and soy. Our nutritional needs are bio-individual and there is no one single thyroid-healthy diet, so choose the options that adhere to your unique dietary guidelines and goals.

before snacking, Take this Quiz

Grab-and-go snacks and quick calories are a necessity in our busy lives. Maybe we overslept, maybe we have a bunch of appointments, or maybe we’re traveling. There are all kinds of good reasons to snack. But there are also bad reasons to snack. Bad snack habits are easy to succumb to and can easily derail your efforts.

Take the quick quiz below. If you answer yes to ANY of these questions, consider it a red flag that you need to press pause and reevaluate your snack choices and habits.

  1. Are you regularly using snacking as a replacement for well-balanced meals?
  2. Are you snacking because you’re bored or stressed? (Try taking a walk or bath instead.)
  3. Do you snack mindlessly for comfort, say when you’re watching television at night, bombarded by ads for fast food and sugary treats?
  4. Are you snacking when you’re not truly hungry?
  5. Are you regularly eating packaged snacks to avoid preparing real, whole food?
  6. Are you leaning too heavily on snacks because you’re not prioritizing and making time for cooking?

Mindful eating and self-awareness are critical to your success. Before you dive in and start munching, ask yourself the questions above.

Thyroid-Healthy Snack List

All of these options exclude wheat, dairy, refined sugar, refined oils, gluten, grains, and soy. Read labels carefully and choose organic whenever possible.


  1. Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are remarkably high in Zinc, a nutrient that’s commonly low for thyroid patients. They will also give you a thyroid-protecting dose of Omega-3s. Eat them raw or roasted and sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt.
  2. Organic Tree Nuts: A handful of almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts or pecans can be just enough to keep the ‘Hangries’ at bay while delivering healthy fats and high nutrition. Be aware that nuts labeled ‘Roasted’ are often fried in refined oils, so pay attention to labels and choose raw or oven-roasted nuts whenever possible.
  3. Cherries & Berries: When in season, a small bowlful of fresh cherries or berries delivers high-antioxidant nutrition, fiber, and anti-inflammatory goodness. Balance the natural sugars with a handful of nuts or seeds for added protein.
  4. 1-Minute Guacamole: Dice an avocado, spritz with lime or lemon juice, and sprinkle with sea salt. Mash with a fork, taste and adjust flavor with more citrus and salt, and voila! High in fiber and healthy fat, avocados are full of nutrients that thyroid patients need. Serve with carrot sticks, plantain chips, or a grain-free cracker (see below).
  5. FlackersⓇ: These flaxseed crackers made the list because they are organic, Paleo, nutrient-dense, and gluten-free. In fact, the only ingredients (in the ‘Sea Salt’ flavor) are flax seeds, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt. Top them with hummus, guacamole, tapenade, smoked salmon and cucumber—whatever you like!
  6. Apple Slices with Nut Butter: Apples truly are a health-promoting food, with plenty of fiber and blood-cleansing pectin. Balance the natural sugars with some protein from your favorite organic nut or sunflower butter (see recipe below).
  7. Chopped Veggies and Pesto Mayo: Getting in the habit of keeping some fresh veggie sticks handy is one of the best things you can do to improve your daily nutrition. Mix a spoonful of ‘clean’ mayo (like this one) with a spoonful of dairy-free pesto to replace that ranch dressing.
  8. Seaweed Snack Sheets: This is one of the few packaged foods that made the cut thanks to a clean ingredient list and a healthy dose of thyroid-boosting iodine. They’re also low-calorie and the full-size sheets can be wrapped around veggies, salmon salad (see below) and/or gluten-free grains to make a super-quick thyroid-loving lunch. Be sure to read labels to avoid refined oils. This brand uses only seaweed, extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt (their slogan says it all: “Strangely Addictive!”).
  9. Salmon Wraps: Canned wild salmon is an excellent and inexpensive source of inflammation-reducing Omega-3s. You may be surprised to learn that it’s also a good source of calcium if you eat the soft, chewable bones. Premium canned salmon excludes the bones and is typically leaner and therefore lower in healthy fats, so go for the regular (and cheaper!) variety. Combine with a ‘clean’ mayo (like this one) and wrap in a lettuce leaf or a sheet of dried snacking seaweed for a substantial snack or light lunch.


  1. Butterfly Nut Butter with Carrot Sticks: This sunflower, Brazil nut, and pecan butter has become a household staple for quick snacks and breakfasts that require no cooking—a precious necessity for those of us abstaining from gluten, dairy, and/or eggs. Serve with banana, apple, or my favorite: carrot sticks.
  2. Hard Boiled Eggs: For those of us who tolerate eggs, this is a handy option to keep in the fridge. Place half a dozen or so in boiling water, set a timer for 10 minutes, and run under cold water when the timer goes off. Drain and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Take things up a notch by preparing these BLT Deviled Eggs.
  3. Superfood Energy Balls: This 10-minute recipe will satiate your sweet tooth while providing energy-supportive nutrients that won’t crash your blood sugar levels. Keep a batch in the freezer for grab-and-go convenience.

UP NEXT: How to Combat Cravings Once and For All

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.