When you’re at work and your energy is low, a quick snack could be all it takes to boost your productivity and help you refocus. But unfortunately, the easy-to-grab snacks around the office are often highly-processed, filled with sugar, or heavy in salt.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you have a few nutritious snacks on-hand. Just like you might meal prep your lunch or breakfast for work, you can also “snack prep” healthy, filling, and delicious snacks to keep at your desk. If you always have a nutritious snack option at your fingertips, you’re less likely to make a regrettable choice that’ll leave you feeling even more hungry and drained a half-hour later.
Whether you’re searching for mid-morning snack ideas, healthy snacks to buy at the grocery store near your office, or just some low fat snacks to add to your desk stash, here’s a list of 20 healthy snacks for work.
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1. Dried Berries
If you have a sweet tooth, put down that vending machine candy bar and turn to dried berries instead. Not only can packs of dried berries stay in your desk drawer for a while without perishing, they’re full of antioxidants and are lower on the glycemic index than other fruits. Dried berries still contain natural sugars, however, so be sure to pair them with a healthy fat, like nuts, so your sugar levels don’t spike.
3. Peanut Butter & Celery
Celery stalks with a smear of peanut butter make healthy snacks for adults. (You can also add raisins to create the childhood favorite “ants on a log” if you’d like!) The peanut butter will give you protein to power through the work day, while the celery will help up your fiber. Just remember to double check the label and reach for jars of peanut butter that only have “peanuts” or “peanuts and salt” listed as ingredients.
4. Nut Butter Pouches
Protein-filled squeezable nut butter pouches are easy to grab and eat right at your desk. Almond butters, cashew butters, and macadamia nut butters are great alternatives to peanut butters.
5. Hummus & Veggies
From chocolate to garlic to peppery, hummus comes in all types of flavors and varieties to satisfy nearly any craving. You can dip mini cucumbers or bell peppers in hummus for a nice crunch. Note: This is a snack you’ll want to bring in fresh each morning and eat sometime during the first part of the work day if you plan on keeping it at your desk. (But if you have access to a fridge, you can store your hummus and veggies at the office for much longer!)
6. Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas are non-perishable snacks that are high in protein, fiber, and flavor. Bake your own at home using the seasonings of your choice, then bring them into the office for a savory snack.
7. Tuna Pouches
While grocery shopping, look out for vacuum-sealed tuna pouches that you can bring in as healthy snacks for work. Unliked canned tuna, tuna pouches don’t need to be drained, so they’re easy to store and eat at your desk. Bonus: The inflammation-fighting properties of omega-3 fatty acids contained in tuna have benefits in many systems throughout the body.
8. Green Apples
It’s important to pay attention to the color of your apple snack: Green apples are found to have less carbs, more fiber, and less sugar than red apples. For some extra protein, dip green apple slices in peanut butter. If you’re looking for something sweet, try green apples with chocolate hummus.
Keep a stash of uncured, low sodium jerky in your desk drawer for protein. Not a fan of beef? Not a problem. Grass-fed chicken, elk, or bison jerky options are widely available.
10. Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain greek yogurt is loaded with calcium and makes a yummy, creamy treat whenever you feel your stomach grumbling. If you’re dairy-free, you can buy greek yogurt made with coconut milk or almond milk instead of cow’s milk. Just make sure you have space in your office fridge if you’re not planning on eating your yogurt in the morning: Yogurt expires quickly, so you’ll want to eat yours within two hours or put it away in the refrigerator.
Granola is great to eat alone or used as a topping. To avoid hidden sugars, make your own using a wholesome combination of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and honey. Cook it in large batches and then ration it for the week. You can even sprinkle it on your plain greek yogurt.
Dried edamame is easy to pack up and bring into work. Eating high-quality plant proteins like edamame will help keep your appetite under control.
13. Kale Chips
As you might recall from your school days, there are few midday snacks as satisfying as chips. But instead of greasy potato chips, make the switch to kale chips. They have all the crunch you crave, but with more fiber and fewer calories.
As long as your office’s room temperature is on the cooler side, you can keep a bag of carrots on your desk to munch on throughout the work day. Beta carotene, which is found in carrots, can help boost immunity, vision, and eye health. But don’t overdo it: Carrots are a sugar-rich vegetable.
High in vitamin C, tangerines are a great snack to grab during busy days at work. Because they’re especially easy to peel, you can mindlessly snack on this citrus fruit as you power through your work emails.
16. Seaweed Snacks
If you’re craving something light and slightly salty, crispy seaweed squares are a delicious snack. They’re low in calories, but high in iodine — a mineral critical for thyroid health.
17. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a snack that’ll give you a good dose of protein. You can bring pre-portioned servings to the office and top it with fruit or pumpkin seeds, which are a source of zinc and magnesium.
18. Protein Bars
Protein bars are packed with, well, protein! These bars will keep you full, but warning: Store-bought protein bars can have a lot of added sugars, so you might want to make your own at home.
19. Tomatoes, Olive Oil & Feta Mix
Before heading to work, put together a jar filled with a fresh mix of tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and feta. The tomatoes contain key carotenoids like lutein and lycopene, which can protect the eye against light-induced damage, and the extra virgin olive oil has heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and omega-3s. Compared to other cheeses, feta is lower in calories and fat.