Do you need some healthy snack ideas that are easy to prepare so you can bring healthy snacks to work? Contrary to popular belief, snacking is not entirely bad for you. The key is learning what snacks to eat, especially while you’re at work. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get through the workday without a snack. It’s especially difficult to ignore a rumbling tummy when you’re trying to focus on work. Starving is counterproductive because hunger pangs can distract you from efficiently finishing work responsibilities while eating the wrong type of snack can leave you feeling lethargic.
Healthy snack ideas are important for working professionals because while healthy snacks can give you more energy, eating unhealthy snacks can make you feel sick or tired.
Remember, taking a pause to eat your snacks is okay as long as you select healthy snack ideas instead of unhealthy ones, and consume the right portion sizes. Unhealthy snacking on empty calories is not good for you, but staying intentional with your snack choices makes a big difference. There’s no shame in eating a healthy snack in the office. Besides, you are entitled by law to take a break.
Choosing the right snack foods can get you through the long workday and the next major meal. Snacking is a smart move because it boosts your productivity. Below are 5 delicious healthy snack ideas perfect for your work break because they require minimal meal preparation. Some can be stashed on your desk for a quick nibble, while others may need refrigeration or nuking in the microwave breakroom.
1. Trail Mix
If you like combining nuts, dried fruits, cereal, and granola, trail mix is one of the most suitable healthy snack ideas for you. This combination of delicious ingredients is food for the tummy and soul. Trail mix is the perfect comfort food to keep handy at your office desk because it has a long shelf life. Best of all, it provides grains, fibre, and proteins that your brain needs to function clearly.
If your trail mix includes a superfood such as walnuts, for example, it’s a great snack for brain function.
Fortunately, you can buy many different trail mix variants in store, like cinnamon, maple nut, pumpkin pie, chocolate, and so on. However, if you have specific nut allergies, you have to be very careful and read the labels. If you are counting calories, you must also watch out for the nutritional information on the packages.
If you want more control over what you put in your mouth, you can make your own trail mix at home, especially if you have dietary requirements. For instance, you can find a low carb trail mix recipe here if you follow the Keto Diet. After making your concoction, place them in snack-sized ziplock bags for easy portion control.
2. Air Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is never created equal. The ones loaded with salt and butter from the cinema is a no go. However, air-popped corn is filling and not loaded with calories. By itself, it is a natural whole grain that’s very high in fibre. Studies affirm that fibre is an important component of health because it helps with the following:
- Regulates your bowels
- Keeps you feeling full
- Helps maintain a very healthy weight
- Absorbs excess cholesterol in the bloodstream
- Prevents onset of chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease
You can keep a few bags of microwavable air-popped popcorn in your cubicle to stave off hunger and satisfy your crunch cravings. And one regular 100-gram bag has 387 calories, 14.5 grams of fibre, and 4 grams of fat. Since the serving size is generous, you can even share it with your officemates. Alternatively, you can also bring single-serving bags like SmartFood White Cheddar with only 100 calories.
3. Rice Cakes
Are you searching for something that’s healthy and easy to stash in your drawer? Rice cakes fit the bill because you can readily buy this low-calorie snack in single-serving packets. Best of all, it comes in different flavours, so it can satisfy your salty or sweet craving. For example, Quaker Oats released these different rice cake variants:
- Butter popcorn
- White cheddar
- Lightly salted
- Plain salt-free
- Apple cinnamon
Remember, the plain rice cake in itself is already a great base for almost any topping. For example, you can make a rice cake “sandwich” by putting 8 grams of egg salad in between two disks. This snack provides you with both carbs and protein, plus plenty of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Best of all, this totals to only 260 calories. You can also play around by mixing and matching the plain rice cakes with other toppings like cottage cheese, avo with tomato, honey, or yoghurt.
4. Packets of Instant Oatmeal
Although instant oatmeal is a little bit more refined than steel-cut oats, it still beats grabbing a bag of potato chips. Everyone knows a bowl of oatmeal makes an excellent breakfast. Hence, there’s no reason why it cannot perform equally well as an office snack. Besides, oats are naturally low in calories, gluten-free, high in fibre, and low in sodium.
Though it is impossible to cook a huge batch of whole-grain oats in your office break room, you can readily make a single-serving mug of oatmeal in the microwave. This sure hits the spot, especially when you want a warm, comforting cup of delectable goodness. You can add raisins, craisins, or dried blueberries for added flavour, iron, and fibre. For best results, read the label and veer away from brands with excessive white sugar.
5. Tuna and Saltines
Crackers and tuna packets work well as office snacks because they are not highly perishable. However, you must choose whole-wheat crackers that are high in fibre. Studies show that whole wheat products are better because of their low glycemic response, meaning that:
- They won’t spike up your blood sugar
- You will feel full longer and curb cravings
- These products help keep diabetes at bay
Besides, whole wheat items contain more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For these reasons, you will enjoy higher energy levels and more health benefits like boosting your immune system, promoting good digestion, and keeping healthy sugar levels.
Pair your whole wheat saltines with tuna, and you’ve got a power-packed snack that’s full of protein and fatty acids. Six crackers plus 3 ounces of tuna contain no more than 200 calories. And remember, water-packed tuna has lower fat content and calories than oil-packed. Just consume in moderation, so you don’t ingest an excessive amount of mercury.
6. Greek Yogurt
If you’ve got an office fridge, take advantage of the gadget by bringing several individual containers of Greek yoghurt. Just be mindful of the expiry date and don’t forget to put your name on the container with a marker so none of your colleagues will inadvertently eat it. Yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium. Unfortunately, it gets a bad rap when you mix in a bunch of sugary stuff with the yoghurt like candies, chocolates, cheesecake, or brownies.
For a truly healthy snack, choose low-fat Greek yoghurt. You can pair it up with some fresh fruit if you’re craving something sweet. Apart from calcium, Greek yoghurt has tons of protein to help you feel full longer. Protein is also an important building block as it helps your body metabolize hormones and produce lean muscle mass. You can also add heart-healthy nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or macadamia to increase your good cholesterol count.
The above are only some of many healthy snack ideas that you can bring to work. All of these handy snacks require very little prep work, so they’re an easy grab-and-go solution that’s perfect for your busiest workdays. If you are truly serious about nourishing your body with the right food, how about taking a DNA test to find out the optimal diet for you based on your DNA? The diet and nutrition reports can help you assess the best diet you should follow based on your genetics. With this information at your disposal, you can take the guesswork out of snacking and feel more confident that what you put in your mouth will truly fuel your body optimally.