Those of us with office jobs know the value of healthy snacks for work that help you power through the grind. A midmorning or afternoon munch is basically like a mini-break for your mind and treat for your senses. But it’s also a practical move. Midday healthy snacks provide the fuel top-off you need to stay focused on your work. (Or, at the very least, make it to 5 o’clock without becoming a hangry nightmare for your deskmates.)
A quick word about the healthy snacks you’ll see here: For this particular list, we asked R.D.s about their personal favorites and included a few of our own. But “healthy” means something different for everybody, depending on things like any dietary restrictions or medical conditions you might have, your relationship with food, your interest (or not) in things like weight management or weight loss, your culture, your budget, and so on.
Generally speaking, if you’re snacking in order to sustain your energy until the next meal, then your best bet is to pick something satisfying with nutritional staying power. That typically comes in the form of protein, fiber, and/or fat—to help you maintain stable blood sugar levels and ward off the dreaded afternoon slump, Brittany Kohn, M.S., R.D., tells SELF. And there is a pretty dang wide array of snack options that can do that.
Here are ideas for easy, healthy snacks for work you can keep right at your desk. (So no jockeying for fridge space or dealing with thieving coworkers.) Whether you’re craving salty or sweet, creamy or crunchy, there are tasty and convenient choices for you here.
“Seeds are a source of protein, and they’re easy to store, quiet, and not messy,” says Kohn. They’re great by themselves, and even better when you put them on top of things like toast, yogurt, or oatmeal. Her favorites are pumpkin seeds and [sunflower seeds], but chia seeds and hemp seeds are great options, too.
Plain Oatmeal Packets
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast—stash it in your drawer for a hearty snack, too. “Packets of instant, plain oatmeal microwaved with water in a mug and sprinkled with cinnamon is a great cold-weather snack when you want something warm and filling,” says Katherine Younger, R.D. You can also store a full canister of quick oats at your desk.