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Healthy Snacks at Work: Choosing the Right Foods

Learn how to avoid succumbing to the ever-present urge to treat yourself to a less than healthy snack from the vending machine or the fast food joint around the corner.


Vending machines filled with chips and cookies occupy the break room and thoughtful coworkers bring donuts and other snacks for the office. Although convenient, the snacks to choose from lack nutrients and oftentimes packed with calories, sugar, fat, and salt. The food environment impacts a lot of our food choices and can ultimately be detrimental to new health resolutions and goals. Fortunately, healthy snacks for work will be easy with these simple ideas.

Peanut Butter Versatility

Protein, found in peanut butter, is key to keeping the stomach full and content between meals. Unfortunately, protein is oftentimes absent in standard snack foods. A tablespoon or two of peanut butter with apple slices is a well-balanced snack that will keep you satisfied till your lunch break.

Healthy Veggie Choices

For some, hummus might be a scary food to try. Hummus is essentially a dip made from chickpeas or other beans, healthy oils such as olive, and various seasonings that allows for a wide variety of hummus flavors. Hummus provides a small amount of protein along with fiber. Use colorful vegetables like carrots and peppers in place of chips for a crunchy, flavorful snack.

Is Trail Mix Healthy?

Portions and ingredients are key for a nutritious trail mix. Trail mixes have the potential to be filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other admirable nutrients. To keep ingredients in check, make and create your own variety. Try skipping out on the infamous M&M's found in standard trail mix. Fill the bag with nuts and seeds such as almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds along with dried fruits. Although trail mix has a high nutrient profile filled with healthy fats and protein, it can be relatively high in calories. Aim for a ¼ cup serving or a small handful for calorie and fat control.

Dairy and Fruit Health Choices

Greek yogurt is a significant source of protein. When choosing a yogurt, be sure to check the nutrition label for added sugars. New dietary guidelines recommend consuming less than 10 percent per day from added sugars. Add fresh or frozen berries to Greek yogurt for a snack filled with protein and antioxidants. Sprinkle a tablespoon of granola or nuts for an added crunch.

Popcorn Snacks at Work

Replace potato chips with popcorn for a crunchy snack alternative filled with added health benefits. Popcorn is a whole grain and an excellent source of insoluble fiber and B vitamins. Although popcorn lacks protein, a high volume can be consumed without breaking the calorie bank. Be sure to go easy on the butter and salt if their additions are necessary.

Healthy snacks for the office can be achieved. In addition to complementing protein with snacks, replace the candy jar with a fruit bowl. Eliminating the candy jar and keeping the bowl filled with colorful fruits can subtly initiate better health choices. So next time you plan to treat your coworkers, create a homemade trail mix or a fun yogurt station. Your colleagues and body will thank you for the healthy work snacks!

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