We’ve all been there, unprepared and reaching for something convenient and unhealthy to stave away the hunger while we maneuver through that pile of work on our desk. A little preparation can go a long way to give you healthier options for snacks at work.
Any number of situations can put us in a position where we feel that the break room donut or vending machine candy bar will just have to do the trick for now. We all get busy, stressed, fatigued or just fall into that 3p.m. afternoon craving sometimes. The problem is that these quick-fix and high-sugar snacks will only help for a short time before they bring you back down to a crash with low energy. In order to fuel properly for your day, it is so important to have a healthy snack about every three to four hours. Whether it is at work or just on the go, keep a variety of tasty, nutritious, ready-to-eat snacks on hand to limit your temptations to the vending machine.
Here are some ideas for snacks to keep in your desk drawer or in the office refrigerator:
- Fresh fruit salad with low fat granola and yogurt
- Celery sticks with almond butter
- Apple slices with low fat cottage cheese
- Whole grain rice cakes
- Whole grain crackers topped with low fat cream cheese
- ½ a whole grain bagel toasted with tomatoes and feta
- Whole grain pita triangles with humus
- Whole grain cereal with less than 6 grams of added sugar and high in fiber and protein
- Mini cans of water-packed tuna
- Boxes of raisins or other dried fruit
- Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes
Nuts aren’t the winner in terms of low-calorie options, but do have a high concentration of good fats. The higher protein will also keep you satisfied. Set aside a few individual sandwich bags with a handful of nuts in each such as walnuts, pecans, almonds and peanuts.
For those days when only chocolate is going to do the job, choose dark chocolate. It is by no means a low-calorie treat, but if you purchase a large dark chocolate bar and separate it into 100 calorie sections, you will be able to take care of those “emergencies” without completely sabotaging your energy and health.
When you make healthy choices for snacks during the day, you are able to better manage your weight, hunger, health and energy. Try to use variety, balance and moderation when deciding what to store in your desk drawer. Talk to your friends and co-workers to get additional ideas, there are many great options out there! Drink choices during the day are important too – but don’t worry, I will address that in a post of its own coming soon!
What are smart eating options that help to keep you energetic and satisfied throughout the day?