Snacking often gets bad press. People talk about it like it's always a bad idea. However, healthy snacks can be good for you and can help keep your blood sugar stable, among other things. The key word here is "healthy." When you're already hungry and, let's face it, maybe a little cranky, as well as short on time, it can be challenging to find a truly healthy snack. A good tactic is to prepare ahead and keep some good, non-perishable foods ready to hand at your workspace.
Fruits are good for you, right? They are, as long as they are not loaded with added sugar. Whole fruits are better for you than dried because they contain plenty of water. A serving of fresh fruit fills you up much more than a tiny serving of dried fruit. When choosing fresh fruit to keep at your desk, reach for types that last a while and are not easily bruised, such as apples, oranges, and grapefruit.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein and fat, which can help you feel satisfied at snack time. You may not want to take nuts to work, since so many people have severe allergies, but seeds and seed-based spreads can serve the same purpose. If you would usually snack on peanut butter, try sunflower butter or shelf-stable hummus. If you prefer a crunchy texture, try dry roasted sunflower seeds or chickpeas.
If you eat grains, choose whole grains. The easiest way to fit whole grains into snack time is to purchase pre-made snack bars, granola bars, or whole-grain crackers. You could also keep some quick-cooking oatmeal on hand. The trick to choosing healthy, whole grain snacks is to read and understand the label. Don't be fooled by claims such as "all natural." Instead, check for added sugars and unpronounceable ingredients. If you can't find snack bars or granola without tons of added sugar, oil, and the like, find an easy recipe and make a big batch on Sunday night. Then you can have some ready to go all week.
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Everyone knows that veggies are mostly healthy, but they can be challenging to keep in a drawer because they often spoil quickly or require refrigeration. If you want to incorporate more vegetables into snack time, get creative. If you can keep a cooler bag at your desk, pack some extra carrots or sliced peppers every day, and save them for later in the afternoon. You may also be able to find dehydrated soup mixes without a lot of unhealthy added ingredients. Hot soup is a fantastic warming snack on a cold day. You can also find simple canned soups that you can microwave, as long as you remember to also keep a microwave-safe container with you.
As mentioned earlier, the most critical ingredient in a healthy snack is preparation. Take your favorite ideas from this list, write them down, and stick them on your refrigerator. Then, on Sunday nights, you can run through your list and make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks prepared for the following week.