A bright and energetic morning can quickly turn into a midday drag if you don’t have enough to eat. You might think that a second lunch is what you need, but a small, light snack is enough to do the trick. Planning ahead and packing your own will help steer you away from the calorie-dense vending machine. These 10 snacks are no fuss, easy-to-pack options that can be stored in your cabinet, drawer or bag so that you always have something available.
If you feel the need to nibble on something while you’re working, pre-portioned and ready-to-eat cereal cups are a good option. You can buy the single-serve version and keep them stored in your drawer, or save some money by buying a big bag and portioning it out yourself. Choose cereals that are high in fiber but not sugar, like Cheerios (which has a 7:1 carb-to-fiber ratio) and Fiber One (a 2:1 ratio).
Cereal and Snack Bars
The hardest part about packing a bar for a snack is finding one that isn’t loaded with sugar. The healthiest ones are full of fiber and made of natural ingredients like nuts and dried fruit, which pack in a variety of vitamins and minerals as well. Choose a healthy snack bar or search the web or Pinterest to find a recipe and make your own.
Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, macadenias…these are just a few of many nuts that you can keep stored in your desk. This crunchy snack is the perfect mix of energy with healthy fats, vitamins, protein, and fiber. Make sure to pre-portion into little baggies so you don’t end up eating too much. A reasonable amount is about an ounce, which is about ¼ of a cup, or the cusp of your hand (think 24 almonds). The best part? They might even help you lose weight!
Whole Wheat Crackers
The box of crackers in your cupboard at home will be great at work as well. Again, the key to making these a healthy snack is pre-portioning them. A serving of whole wheat crackers (like 15 Multigrain Wheat Thins, for example) should provide just enough energy to keep your day going. The complex carbs, fiber, and protein they contain will fill you up and keep your blood sugar stable as well.
If you’re like me and like to eat peanut butter plain by the spoonful, this is one snack that you’ll love to keep in your drawer. Peanut butter does not need refrigeration and can be stored in a dark, cool spot for up to three months. Have plastic spoons handy so you can scoop out a tablespoon of this low-carb 95 calorie treat. Pair it with the crackers and add an extra 4 grams of protein.
Raisins and Other Dried Fruits
Although a fresh apple or banana is a great option to keep at your desk, raisins and other dried fruit can be stored in the drawer or cabinet for longer period of time. Little boxes like Sun-Maid’s Raisin Mini-Snacks provide a quick sugar spike but are low in calories. These are a great option if you are going to the gym right after work. You can also mix with nuts and seeds to make your own trail mix.
Sealed Fruit Cups In Water
You can grab a fruit on your way to work. Another option is having a colorful, ready-to-eat fruit cup filled with a variety of different fruit. These don’t have to be refrigerated, are easy-to-eat, and super low in calories. Make sure you buy cups that are packaged in water, not heavy syrup. Those in syrup contain double the calories and double the sugar, making a seemingly healthy snack not so healthy.
Although not exactly a snack, lack of water throughout the day is often the culprit behind feelings of hunger, headaches, and midday dragging. Bottled water is something you definitely want to keep stored at work. You can also bring flavored water if the plain version is too bland. Sip throughout the day and watch your productivity and mood improve.
Bonus: Refrigerated and Microwaveable Snacks
If you have a refrigerator or microwave available at work you can also keep snacks stored there. Fresh fruit, string cheese, hummus with sliced vegetables, and popcorn are just a few options for a midday snack.
What are your favorite snacks to store at work?