When thinking about the word snack what often comes to mind is chips, cookies or candy. A snack, however, should be something that sustains you and keeps you feeling energized from one meal to the next. Chips, cookies, and candy are devoid of nutrients. They give you short bursts of energy which quickly turn into a slump due to their impact on blood sugar which leaves us feeling lethargic and unmotivated.

But, don’t worry, there are plenty of healthy snacks that you can pack on the go that will keep you feeling energized and productive, plus it’ll help avoid that hangry feeling. Try packing a couple of snacks for work throughout the workday:

  1. DIY Trail Mix

    • This is a great option for a mid-day snack. Not only will it satisfy you, but it will also save you money as pre-made trail mix can be expensive. Aim for a ratio of 1/8 cup of dried fruit (think raisins, dried blueberries, apples, or apricots) and ¼ cup of raw nuts (think pistachios, almonds, pecans, cashews or walnuts). Adding in cheerios or a low sugar cereal for a nice crunch is a good option too. This snack has a lot of fatty acids and protein from the nuts, and the natural sugars from the fruit will curb any sugar cravings.

  2. Vegetables with Hummus

    • The more vegetables and food colors you can get into your day the better! Buy pre-cut vegetables or cut your own at home (especially helpful if you’re on a budget). Try carrots, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, radishes, snap peas, or if you’re feeling adventurous, jicama. Hummus is a healthy dip as it’s full of good fats like olive oil and tahini, plus protein. You can buy a variety of hummus at the store, but it’s also simple to make your own. Try this recipe here!

  3. Fruit & Yogurt

    • Yogurt can be a healthy and satisfying snack if you steer clear of yogurts packed with sugar. Unflavored Greek yogurt is a wonderful choice. It’s full of calcium and protein, while being low in sugar. If you aren’t used to unflavored Greek yogurt, it tends to be on the sour side so here are a few ideas to sweeten it without going overboard on sugar: mash half of a banana and mix it into the yogurt, add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, add cinnamon or mix in other fresh or frozen fruit. A fun thing to try is making a compote: warm up frozen fruit of your choosing in a pot until it defrosts and the juices come out, then pour over yogurt and mix.

  4. Plain Oatmeal Packets & Fruit

    • Like the yogurt and fruit, bringing plain oatmeal packets cuts down on your sugar consumption while leaving you feeling full and satisfied. To sweeten, add fruits (dried, fresh or frozen). You can also throw in some nuts, seeds or nut butter for an added protein punch.

  5. Air Popped Popcorn

    • You don’t even need to invest in an air popper for this healthy whole grain snack (yes, popcorn is a whole grain!). Add ¼ cup of popcorn kernels to a microwave safe bowl and cover with a microwave safe plate. Pop for two minutes and 45 seconds (give or take) and then season with garlic powder, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, turmeric, salt, etc. To get the seasoning to stick to your popcorn, you can spray it with a small amount of olive oil.

  6. Whole Grain Crackers with Topping

    • Buying whole grain crackers is helpful in helping you full for longer and keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Whole grains provide lots of minerals, B vitamins, and fiber. To make sure the crackers are whole grain, check the first ingredient on the list. It should say whole wheat flour or list a whole grain like oats, brown rice, quinoa, etc. If you are gluten free, rice crackers are a great alternative. In terms of toppings, there are a variety of healthy options: cheese, mashed avocado, nut butters, tuna, or hummus are all good choices.

As an employer, taking a mindful minute to observe the snacks that are kept in the breakroom or in the vending machines is the first step to changing the snack culture in your office. It’s easy to get used to seeing doughnuts, birthday cake and chips laying around, but is this really helping to create a productive and positive work environment?

There are many ways to promote healthy snacking at work, here are a few tips to help start the process:

  • People typically eat what they see. If cookies are within eye sight, it’s difficult to pass them by without grabbing one. The same thought process holds true for fruit and vegetables. By replacing cookies with colorful fruits and vegetables, you’ll improve the snacking culture in no time.

  • Partner with a local farmer’s market and coordinate a produce delivery right to the office. The more convenient it is, the more likely people will be to participate. Make eating healthy effortless.

  • Install a water cooler. This improves the chances of drinking water over other beverages.

Need more tips or want to start a healthy snacking initiative at your workplace?

E-mail us at info@wellnesscollective.com

Katy Tombaugh