The 6 Best Snacks to Pack for the Office

Since most of the US spends forty-plus hours at the workplace, it is important to focus on staying healthy while working away. Snacks can either make or break you, especially if candy, donuts and other treats are easily in reach. A healthy snack can do wonders for your afternoon hunger pangs as well as your waistline. Not only is having healthy snacks at work important to keep you on the nutritious path, it can also help stave off hunger, making you less likely to overeat once you have clocked out for the day. If you find yourself getting hungry mid-afternoon, here are some great snacks that are perfect to eat at work.

1. Unsalted Almonds

Almonds are not only a satisfying and nutritious snack, but they are portable. Before the start of your work week, portion out snack bags of one serving of almonds, roughly 24 depending on size. You can pack one bag each day or leave a few portioned bags at your desk, just in case. The fiber and healthy fats found in nuts will help give you an energy perk and keep you feeling full throughout the afternoon.

2. Portable Fruit

Fruit is a great snack to bring to work, but it can be difficult if you don’t have a refrigerator to store it. Instead, try bringing a portable fruit such as an apple, pear, orange or banana. Depending on the size of fruit, a small piece is about 70 to 80 calories which makes it the perfect for a snack.

3. Popcorn

Popcorn sometimes gets a bad reputation, but it is purely for the high butter content you will find in many of the store-bought varieties. Popcorn is a whole grain and one cup is only 25 calories! Pop your kernels at home and season with a sprinkle of salt and bag it into one-cup portions for work. This is a great alternative to those who love to crunch on chips or other salty snacks.

4. Dried Fruit

If the sugar rush hits you shortly after lunch, dried fruit can be the perfect cure. There are many varieties of dried fruit, so check the label to ensure there are no added sugars. Some of the more popular fruits include dried cranberries, raisins and banana chips. Watch the portion since they are higher in calories than regular fruit. Portion out ¼ cup to snack on while working away.

5. Vegetables with Hummus

A snack is a great opportunity to incorporate more vegetables into your day. Sugar snap peas, carrots, cherry tomatoes and celery are all great options to munch on while working. Not a big fan of raw vegetables on their own? Hummus is a delicious, low-calorie dip that pairs perfectly. The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, providing some protein and additional fiber to accompany your crudité.

6. Snack Bars

It can be difficult to find a healthy snack bar that isn’t loaded with added sugar, which will make it about as healthy as a candy bar. But when chosen correctly, snack bars can be a healthy, portable treat. Aim for a bar that has no more than 200 total calories. This is just enough calories to provide you with energy, but not so much that you blow your calorie intake for the day. Choose a bar that has at least 3 or more grams of fiber and at least 5 grams of protein or more. Also, your snack bar should not have more than 8 grams of sugar per 100 calories.


About Author

Kristen Bourque, RD, LD has been writing health-related articles since 2000. Her nutrition articles and recipes have been featured in "Today's Dietitian" as well as the Canadian magazine "Glow". Kristen combines her love of nutrition with cooking on her personal blog, Swanky Dietitian.

Posts By Kristin Bourque, RD, LD
  • thesockerstocker

    1. I thought the consensus was that salt is not really an issue, especially if it is just 24 almonds. Almonds do have a good reputation (but not raw – they might have anti nutrients when raw)
    2. Fruit is a source of decent carbs, Eat bananas on the green side, once brown it it has turned to sugars and is like eating a candy bar. You can fry some plantains in coconut oil and bring them as a snack.
    3. Popcorn is just empty carbs, at least fruit has natural nutrition. Also, we get high fructose corn syrup from same kernels of popcorn, so it makes you wonder.
    4. You won’t get a sugar rush if you eat a good lunch! A low carb lunch is easy. Dried cranberries and raisins are a little high in the sugars. Don’t feed a “sugar rush” with more sugar either!
    6. meh. it is good to stay away from processed foods – but better than a candy bar.
    — cut some slices of “hard” cheese (like aged gouda) and eat without crackers.
    — Keep a little kefir in the work fridge.
    — microwave a small sweet potato.
    — high quality meat jerky (no slim jims!)
    P.S. I don’t know how “thesockerstock” alias got associated with my e-mail. It said I was already registered with “DISQUS” but I don’t remember that every happening. Never heard of DISQUS before today. Odd.

  • ChrisHayes1

    Untrue. sugars from fruit don’t cause massive insulin and energy spikes. Green bananas are basically starch bombs.. much worse for you than natural fruit sugar. It’s almost like eating a raw potato lol. Bananas are perfect for digestion once they have tiny brown spots. If they got blotchy brown markings it means they were gassed. Also primarily fruit ‘hippy’ diets are bad. You need real carbs like wheat, oats, rice etc that will give you energy slowly throughout the day.

  • thesockerstocker

    Double not true. Green banana starch is fairly “resistant” so it makes it through your digestive tract better and then helps feed the bacteria in you lower gut. White potatoes that are cooked and then refrigerated for 24 hours (e.g. potato salad) are also resistant. The carbs you mentioned do not give you energy slowly throughout the day, they are just a step above sugar. Get your carbs mostly from fruits and veggies. If you workout a lot, then go for processed carbs. Eat a high protein breakfast to keep you going through lunch. Eggs and Chorizo.

  • ChrisHayes1

    How about you eat 5 green bananas, then the next day eat 5 ripe bananas and report back how you feel 30 minutes after eating each. What you said is complete nonsense..

    You don’t see world class fighters, powerlifters, bodybuilders, hockey players etc getting the majority of their carbs from fruits and vegetables. Those are consumed for vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients and beneficial health enhancing chemical compounds.

    Fruits and vegetables are supposed to be eaten as health supporting foods, not as a long lasting energy source.

    For 4-5 months I was eating 5000 calories a day while bulking. Do you have any idea how many vegetables I’d have to eat to get that many calories? It would be enough to cover an entire table.

    When I was eating 80% raw vegetable based diet I was weak, lethargic and weighed 135lbs. When I ate lots of beans, rice, wheat, and animal products, I went up to 203lbs lean and my strength was through the roof.

  • Kina Wald

    Those are pretty much what I have at my office all the time. The only thing that I’m able to add to this list (because I do have a small fridge here) is smoothies. I have a magic bullet blender and keep various fruits, protein powders and oatmeals on hand.

  • Julie_Warren

    Dried Fruit and fruts is the best for office use.

  • Mahima Blair

    Is it really possible to eat according to health plan? boring!!!

    I was too fat at a time. Now I am slim.

    Cosmetic Surgery was the solution for me.

    I visited Korea’s The LINE Plastic
    Surgery Clinic last month.

  • Joonar

    i take 3 dates for snack and it keep me energize for the whole day

  • Nick

    My mid-morning snack was a container containing some mix of strawberries, grapes, raspberries, and/or blackberries. My afternoon snack was a salad. If I was still hungry, I also had a big bag of trail mix on hand.

  • Linkedus Dwix

    I think of all the snacks mentioned above that the best is the fruit. Because fruits are very neutral weeks to anyone and content of vitamins and other substances is very good.

  • Nicole

    Great post! I’ve found that food prep helps out tremendously. I always chop up my fruits and veggies right after purchasing them and separate them into serving size bags. That way I can grab my snack on the go and never over eat! :)

  • Harjap Kaur

    What about String cheese? Cottage cheese with some fruit/sliced almonds? Unsweetened yogurt with fruit?

  • Roxanne Mosby

    I also bring vegan salad, sandwich or a healthy fruit smoothie with me as my healthy snacks! They kept me full while I am in the office. Aside from that, it helps me maintain my healthy food options :)

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