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Easy, Healthy Workplace Snacks

12 portable goodies that will keep you away from the vending machine

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Your best snacking strategy is to plan ahead. Keep some healthy options in your desk or office for those times when you don't have time to get lunch, or when you need a little nutritional boost during the day. You can also bring fresh snack food with you every day from home, providing your workplace has a refrigerator.

Here are some examples of snacks that are good to keep handy in your desk:

  • Trail mix and/or dried fruits and nuts
  • Breakfast cereal (choose a higher-fiber, lower-sugar type)
  • Cans of higher-fiber, lower-fat, and lower-sodium soup (don't forget the can opener)
  • Instant oatmeal packets (look for less-sugar options)
  • Tuna salad kit (includes a small can of water-packed tuna, a relish packet, and crackers)
  • Higher-fiber, lower-fat crackers (like reduced-fat Triscuits)
  • Natural-style peanut butter with crackers, bagels, and/or fruit
  • Packets of low-calorie hot chocolate

Here are some simple perishable snacks you can bring for the day:

  • Low-fat yogurt with fruit
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fruit
  • Reduced-fat cheese with lower-fat, higher-fiber crackers
  • A small portion of leftovers from last night's meal that you warm up in the lunchroom microwave.

It's also important to make your desktop drinks work for you, not against you. That means either choosing beverages with zero calories that quench your thirst or drinks that have some nutritional value but not too much sugar.

Good non-caloric choices include:

  • Mineral water (with flavor essences like lime or orange if you like)
  • Herb or regular tea (cold or hot)
  • Coffee (caffeine-free is best)
  • Diet soda (caffeine-free is best)

Beverages that offer some nutrition, but not a lot of sugar include:

  • Nonfat or low-fat milk
  • Drinks using nonfat or low-fat milk (like light hot chocolate or café latte)
  • 100% fruit juice or drinks made with part juice and part sparkling water
  • 100% fruit nectar or drinks made with part nectar and part sparkling water

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Reviewed on May 13, 2005

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