That 3 pm rumbling in your tummy can send you searching for healthy office snacks. Without a stash of healthy snacks for work, you might be tempted to head to the vending machine for a candy or order takeout. It’s easy to reach for less nutritious snacks when hunger strikes, but with some planning, you can have healthy snacks on hand.
What counts as a healthy snack can vary from person to person. Factors like your health conditions or preferred diet can determine what a healthy snack looks like for you. Most people, however, consider a snack healthy if it provides nutritious, slow-burning fuel. That means the snack:
- Does not have added sugar
- Is not high in sodium
- Provides high nutritional value (protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals)
- Is minimally processed
Healthy office snacks can keep your blood sugar from dropping and ensure that you are energized and productive. That’s important for keeping you focused on work and able to blow through your daily to-do list.
You may be wondering if snacking is healthy. Some people prefer to limit their eating to mealtimes, which is perfectly fine, but snacking can be part of a healthy diet. What matters most is the nutritional quality of your food, not whether you eat it as a meal or snack. Just make sure you are reaching for a snack because you are hungry, not out of boredom or to cope with work stress. If you are prone to acid reflux, snacking right before bed can cause it to flare up.
Read on to learn about healthy office snacks that are quick and easy to prepare.
Protein makes you feel full for longer. If you are attempting to lose weight, a diet rich in protein can help you minimize muscle loss as you shave off the pounds. Check out our list of satiating high-protein snacks.
Cottage cheese is a protein-dense food. A half-cup serving packs 12 grams of nutritious protein. You can enjoy it plain or make it sweet or savory. Just top it with fruit and nuts or seeds for a sweet treat, or add sliced tomatoes and freshly ground black pepper for a savory snack.
A convenient choice, you can reach for premade protein shakes any time you crave one or get too busy to make a snack. Not all protein shakes are created equal. Make sure the shake does not have any added sugar. Whey protein and whey isolate are good options for most. If you do not eat dairy or are vegetarian or vegan, choose soy, pea, or hemp protein.
Hardboiled eggs are a popular high-protein snack because of their convenience and portability. You can make them in advance for the week and have them ready to go in the office fridge whenever you want them. You can even purchase some that are already peeled at the grocery store. Many whole foods that are high in protein are not convenient or snackable, but you can eat a hardboiled egg almost anywhere with no mess. One egg contains seven grams of protein.
If you follow a low cholesterol diet, you may need to have no more than an egg per day and limit your consumption of foods with cholesterol for the rest of the day.
Whether you are a fancy cheese fanatic or love cheese of all kinds, it is a great office snack. You can make yourself a cheese plate with a lovely Irish cheddar or opt for the convenience of a string cheese packet. There are even some snack cheese products that do not have to be refrigerated, making it easy to store a stash in your desk. If you follow a low-fat diet, be sure to look for cheeses that are lower in fat.
Yogurt is the classic office snack. These days there are so many different styles of yogurt, so you are bound to find one you enjoy. If you like yogurt on the thicker side, try out Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr. Yogurt makers have caught on that people are limited their sugar intake and make many varieties that have reduced or no added sugar. There are yogurt options with reduced-fat as well as some with added protein. You can boost the protein content even more by sprinkling some chopped nuts on top.
If you buy plain unsweetened yogurt, there are many ways to make it sweet while sticking to your dietary goals. Here are some tips for sweetening plain yogurt:
- Add frozen fruit, which releases a sweet syrupy liquid as it thaws
- Add sugar-free pancake syrup
- Mix in a sugar substitute
Try making a sugar-free parfait by adding thawed frozen blueberries and their juices along with some chopped walnuts to some plain Greek yogurt.
Protein bites are a big trend in healthy snacking. They combine oats, nut butter, protein powders, and other nourishing, high-quality ingredients to provide a healthy, energy-dense snack. Thanks to the nut butter and added sugar-free sweeteners, the oats soften and taste like a soft granola bar. This is the snack for you if you want a high-protein snack that pairs well with your mid-morning coffee. You can make them from scratch and customize them to your tastes. You can also purchase protein energy balls in a range of flavors.
Roasted Chickpea Snacks
When you follow a high-protein diet, it can be hard to find crunchy snacks. Snacks that have a satisfying crunch when you eat them can help relieve tension in your jaw, making them the perfect choice for anyone dealing with a stressful workday. Chickpeas snacks can deliver the satisfying crunch you crave. Unlike a bag of chips, you will feel great after you eat them. A quarter-cup serving provides you with six grams of plant protein and six grams of fiber.
Fruits & Nuts
Fruits and nuts have a bad reputation in some corners. Some dieters have criticized the natural sugars in fruit and the fat in nuts. However, the sugars and fats in these foods are accompanied by other nutrients like fiber and protein, making them balanced whole foods beneficial for most diets. If you are concerned about overconsuming fat or sugar, exercise portion control with this snack choice.
Apple slices and Nut Butter
Apple slices are a dippable nutritious food, and they pair well with any nut butter. The snack is even tastier if you use flavored nut butters like maple almond butter. Don’t want to mess around with slicing apples with a knife? You can purchase an apple slicer for work if you want a quick and easy way to cut your apple.
Dried Fruit and Nuts
A portable food popular with hikers, dried fruit and nuts are an energy-dense snack. It’s great for office workers because you can keep it out at your desk and grab a handful in between work tasks.
Raisins and peanuts are a classic combination, or you could try some dried cherries and walnuts for a heart-healthy snack. You can also find trail mixes that provide you with an assortment of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
If you limit the fat in your diet, portion control with nuts is key. Additionally, if natural sugars are a concern, be sure to limit your consumption of dried fruit and only eat them alongside protein-dense foods like nuts.
If you enjoy dark chocolate, you may be pleased to learn that it can be part of a healthy diet. Cocoa is healthy, but many chocolate treats contain less nutrient-dense ingredients like added sugar. Dark chocolate with high cocoa content (70 to 85 percent) is high in fiber and rich in iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium. Most chocolate bars will have some added sugar, so you should still limit your portions of this tasty treat.
How to Get Healthy Snacks for Your Office
Eating healthy shouldn’t be difficult. Not everyone likes to spend time in the kitchen prepping healthy meals and snacks for the workweek. Thankfully, getting high-protein snacks for your office does not have to involve food prep. You can find companies that make delicious high-protein snacks that work with your diet and get nutritious foods delivered to your doorstep. Now that you’ve settled your work snacks situation, maybe you can figure out who keeps stealing lunches from the office fridge.