Healthy Snacks to Stash In Your Desk
Skip the vending machine with these healthy snacks for work that you can keep right at your desk. Snacking gets a bad reputation but it can be a great way to add nutrients to your day (think fiber and vitamins) and keep you from getting too hungry between meals.
Here are 10 healthy snacks that you can keep right at your desk when hunger hits.
1. Whole-Grain Crackers
Crackers can be a healthy way to satisfy that crunchy snack attack. Look for crackers with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and with a whole grain as the first ingredient. The fiber helps keep you full. Spread a little nut butter or hummus on your crackers for extra protein and staying power.
Learn more about how to buy the best healthy crackers.
2. Instant Oatmeal Packets
Even though we think about oatmeal as a traditional breakfast food a plain packet of instant oats makes a filling snack. For about 100 calories you'll get a serving of whole grains and a warm, hearty cup of oats. Add nuts or dried fruit to boost the flavor.
When you're shopping, keep an eye on flavored oatmeal with lots of sugar-which can outweigh the whole-grain goodness of oatmeal. See our favorite healthy instant oatmeals.
Buy healthy bagged popcorn at the grocery store and keep some at your desk. You can have about 2 cups for not that many calories since popcorn is so airy (think about how much bigger the kernels are once they're popped). It's also a whole grain and delivers filling fiber. Keep an eye on the sodium, ingredients and in kettle and caramel corns, the added sugar.
4. Peanut or Nut Butter
Natural peanut butter or other nut butter makes a filling snack on its own (yes, straight from the spoon or squeezed from the packet).
Or, serve on a sliced apple or mini-rice cake. The packets are perfect for portion control but a whole jar is great to stash too. Look for natural nut butters that don't have any added sugar.
5. Trail Mix
Single-serving packets of trail mix or bringing in a baggie with homemade trail mix makes a great desk snack. Healthy fats, fiber and protein in nuts help fill you up and dried fruits help satisfy your sweet tooth. Be wary of store-bought trail mixes that are more candy than nuts and fruit.
6. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit, such as apricots, raisins and cherries are perfect for a desk snack. Pack from home or bring the whole bag in to your desk. Just remember, since dried fruit is concentrated, the portion size is smaller than fresh fruit. Typically 1/4 cup of dried fruit is a serving. Look for dried fruits that don't have added sugar.
Nuts once had a bad reputation as being high in fat and calories but they're really quite good for you. The fat in nuts is heart-healthy and helps fill you up. Nuts also deliver protein and fiber so they make a satisfying snack. If you're worried about portion control, buy or make your own 1-ounce bags. If you make your own: 23 almonds equals an ounce of almonds, 49 pistachios is a 1-ounce serving and 28 peanuts totals 1 ounce.
8. Fresh Fruits
Think of fresh fruits that come in convenient single-serving packages: apples, oranges, pears, bananas and kiwis.
9. Protein Bars
10. Dark Chocolate
The perfect treat to stash at your desk when a chocolate craving strikes. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants so it's practically a health food. Individually-wrapped bite-size dark chocolate are already portion-controlled.
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