Healthy Snacks for the Office

Healthy Snacks for the Office | CorporetteWe’ve talked about healthy snacks to keep at the office before, but since it is the season for healthy eating resolutions, I thought now might be a great time to talk again about what your favorite snacks are — what do you bring with you? What do you keep at the office?

When I was working in Big Law I kept a banker’s box on the window stuffed full of a variety of snacks — when I was packing my office to switch jobs, a supervisor came into the office and I offered her some, since I was just throwing away a lot of them — we’d worked closely together for four years and she couldn’t get over how she’d always just thought it was a box of docs, like all the other boxes in our offices…  In those days I ate far too many 100-calorie Nabisco treats, but these days, I’m a big fan of:

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  • seaweed snacks for mindless munching — 30 calories, low in sodium, and with a reasonably short ingredient list — sign me up.  I buy the Sea’s Gift brand in bulk.
  • hard-boiled eggs — I almost always eat two a day (but only one yolk). I highly recommend throwing the egg shells and whatever you didn’t eat in the kitchen trash instead of the trash by your desk.  I particularly love that you can just wrap a hard-boiled egg in a napkin, throw it in your purse, and go.
  • string cheese.  I’m kind of obsessed with Trader Joe’s Light String Cheese — it’s cheap and only 50 calories a stick.  I tend to buy it in bulk when I go since Trader Joe’s is a bit of a trek for me.
  • Raw nuts.  I’m taking a break from eating raw nuts right now (I’ve eaten enough raw almonds to last a lifetime!) but I like buying the portion-controlled packs from Fresh Direct of cashews, walnuts, and almonds.  (I don’t have a huge problem with overeating raw nuts, but I feel like the smaller packs stay fresher — once they’re opened I store them in the fridge.) Trader Joe’s is another great resource for these.
  • yogurt — I’ve gotten more into Greek yogurt like Chobani because I like the shorter ingredients list; I often eat this for a mid-morning snack.
  • Fruit – I particularly like apples (Pink Lady especially) because they’re hearty enough to throw in your bag, aren’t too juicy, and don’t need to be cut.  Unfortunately I’ve read a lot about how organic apples really are worth the expense; when I’m buying nonorganic I try to rinse and towel-dry.  (I feel like the towel-drying does more than the rinsing sometimes.)
  • Fruit Gushers.  Ok, “healthy” is pushing it — but I do like that these are very portion controlled (90 calories per pack), and they satisfy my desire for licorice/fruity yummy-ness.  Again, I’ve started buying in bulk from Amazon (we are both Prime members and members of Amazon Mom, so we get 20% off subscribe and save items when we have 5+ items per order — it’s addictive!).  Trader Joe’s used to have tiny fruit strips called “Fiberfuls” that were 50 calories each and full of fiber — so good! — but I think they’ve stopped making it. Dried fruit is a much more healthy option in this category, but I tend to have a portion control problem with my favorites, mango and pears.  Readers who share my love of licorice/chewy fruit candy, which are your favorite snacks?

 Readers, what are your favorite snacks to keep at work?  Do you have a place to keep refrigerated snacks, or do you focus on shelf-stable snacks?

Healthy Snacks for the Office | Corporette

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  1. I always have Larabars or Kind bars in my drawer and also like nuts and dried fruit, which I bring in small bags. I keep almond butter the work fridge and often have whole wheat or sprouted grain bread in the freezer. Occasionally, I keep hummus in the fridge but I wouldn’t keep it much longer than a week. Oh—how could I forget the dark chocolate bar that is always in my drawer? I replace it about every two weeks.

    • IT Chick in MN :

      Really dark chocolate is one of my secrets. I find it so satisfying taste-wise that I don’t go crazy on the portions. Plus, it actually contains a fair amount of fiber.

  2. I always feel so guilty about all of the packaging for snacks.

  3. I stopped keeping readily-edible snacks in my office because I found that it encouraged me to mindless-eat. The only snack I now keep is oatmeal (not flavored – I just put cinnamon and a little bit of splenda), because there’s no way to mindless snack; if I want it, I have to get up, go to the kitchen, and make it. It’s healthy, filling, and cheap to boot!

    • This. As much as I love so many of these snacks I cannot have them at my fingertips!

    • Ditto!

      The more snacks on hand, the more I’m tempted to eat! Especially sweets. They do not last at all. I only keep a limited amount of snacks in my desk.

    • Diana Barry :

      +1, I never keep anything at the office any more. People always bring in stuff (or often, anyway) so I can randomly have snacks when that happens.

    • saltylady :

      Same. I only bring what I’m going to eat that day. I already bring lunch so I can decide if I want to throw in something else, too. I just can’t have a box of lara bars or trail mix bags.

    • I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

      Even worse – I work at one of those Silicon Valley offices with a kitchen with several shelves of free snacks. Other than nuts, most of it is just BAD NEWS. I know I should be grateful for it as a perk, but I think this is a horrible tradition. I now have to avoid going in there and bringing my own snacks in each day (with my lunch).

      Thank god I don’t work at Google – they have employee cafeterias that are all free. And their food is goooood.

  4. I’m a big fan of TJs when it comes to snack foods. The trail mix, granola bars, individual size yogurt, and frozen edamame (just microwave a small handful) are all great snacks that can be kept in the office for a while. If I’m thinking ahead, chia pudding and hummus with veggies are my favorite afternoon snacks (but of course, these require more foresight).

  5. Yes I love this. I need to eat every few hours to keep my energy up so I’m notorious at work for snacking. My go to:
    ~1 serving of trail mix in a snack bag
    chobani greek yogurt in the morning or later if i have fridge access (i’m on site at clients)
    1 serving of almonds in a snack bag
    peanut butter on cheese crackers (this is my vending machine go to. i tell myself the pb protein is good)

    I like the string cheese idea but I like it cold and sometimes i dont like to be at the mercy of my client’s break room setup. I never thought of hard boiled eggs on the go but that’s a great idea. A hard boiled egg is a surprisingly filling 70something calories.

    I just subscribed to Graze USA but haven’t gotten my box yet. It’s birchbox of single serving healthy snacks. It’s only $6/box and they send it every 2 weeks. I’m not totally sure how many snacks it includes but I’m giving it a try to switch up my snacking so I don’t get bored. The snacks looked pretty interesting online.

  6. In addition to huge containers of rolled oats and roasted almonds, I’ve started doing graze box. Yes it’s $5 for four snacks, but the variety really helps to keep me from busting my diet on other snacks. When I’m bored of almonds, I “treat” myself to one of my graze snacks with dried fruit. If not for graze it would likely be a bag of chips from the cafe or a cookie from the office kitchen. It feels like a treat because it comes once every two weeks and the contents are a surprise every time.

    If anyone’s interested, here’s my invitation code – you get your first and fifth box free with the code. Enjoy! TLX9G2HLB

  7. God, I loved those TJ’s Fiberful bars! I used to eat like 3 a day! So sad when they stopped making them.

    • Same here! This was one of the very few ways my toddler would eat his veggies. I don’t know why they discontinue the good things. I tried a different one, but not as good…

  8. Just an FYI about Amazon Prime that I found out about recently. You can share your 2 day shipping with 3 people for free!

    Also for some reason I’m having a crazy hard time posting comments.

  9. These days I keep dried apricots, baby carrots, and “whole grain” goldfish in my office (or the kitchen fridge). Sometimes I pack little baggie of carrots and apricots and bring them in each day and don’t refridgerate.

  10. My snacks :

    I don’t keep many snacks around as I pack and bring to work daily my breakfast, lunch, and a mid-afternoon meal, but I do keep a few things on hand for emergencies:

    – Pro Bars (the only kind I’ll eat)
    – Vega protein powder (and a protein shaker bottle to mix it up)
    – Yogurt (mine is a local grass-fed variety)
    – Fresh fruit
    – Chocolate
    – Tinned herring and trout if I want something savory

  11. Don’t worry about eating yolks – that’s where the nutrition is and all the old research about them being “unhealthy” has been pretty thoroughly debunked. I’m on deadline at work, but a quick Google search will turn up lots of newer research.

    I’ve been eating Z bars, but am incredibly sick of them right now. I’m working to include more non-processed snacks, such as fruit or cheese, instead of granola bars.

    • Not sure about that, I have a very clean diet and exercise regularly but pinpointed hardboiled eggs and string cheese as the culprits of my ‘high’ cholesterol. Healthy snacks these are not!

  12. Hard times :

    Bananas–Last summer I had to be on my feet all the time with barely any time to eat lunch. I would pack 2 bananas in my purse each day and have those for lunch. It gives you a great energy boost,as a bonus I also managed to lose some weight because I stayed away from unhealthy junk food.

    TJ/Rant: Been unemployed for a year now. It has been hard and I am on the verge of giving up. Feeling worn down, very alone and scared.

    • Moonstone :

      So sorry to hear that you are feeling alone. I know where you are coming from. No advice, just wanted to send you good vibes.

    • S in Chicago :

      Just wanted to say that you’re in my thoughts and keep at it. It’s hard to see sometimes, but it just takes one opportunity to turn things around. Don’t know if you’re already doing this, but in addition to keeping up the job search, have you thought about volunteering? When I went through a long stretch of not working after 9/11, it ended up being one of the best things to keep me feeling connected and good about things. Sometimes just having something else to focus on, can help with keeping some of the fears and depression from taking over the whole day and helps give a routine to things. Volunteermatch and other sites can often let you find things close by and choose commitments for one day or longer. (So you can find out what you really like.) It also helps to give you something you can talk about with how you filled gaps in employment and can hopefully expand networking. Anyway, sending good vibes your way and hope you’ll be back working soon. I know it’s really, really tough.

    • So sorry. Being unemployed is soul crushing and terrifying. Hang in there.

    • Take a break and get back in there with renewed vigor! It can be hard and demoralizing. If you post your location, I’m sure someone will be willing to take you out for a drink, commiseration and encouragement!

    • Anonymous :

      I was unemployed for about the same time. Happy with a job now. I felt stuck and crushed so many times during the time I was unemployed. It will not be like that forever. Hugs.

  13. I tend to not keep snacks because I find it much easier not to snack at all than to snack in small portions. For instance, if I had a box of snacks like Kat, I would probably eat them all.

    That said, for when I do break my own rule, I tend to go for:
    – hummus and carrots, or baby carrots alone (I can eat a whole bag easily)
    – goji berries (good for energy)
    – apples (but Kat you should totally wash even the organic ones!!!)
    – dried cranberries and little dark chocolate chunks (I get the apple juice sweetened cranberries at the health food store and dark chocolate for baking – very good together)
    – Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Raspberries
    – Edamame
    – clementines and other tiny citrus fruit
    – if I feel particularly ambitious, I roast some chickpeas with seasoning and snack on those

  14. I love those snapea crisps. They are so crunchy and salty and oily and perfect. Plus, they’re green.

  15. omg love it I’m saving this post, bc this is something I am always struggling with: more protein-rich snacks and less relying on peanut butter pretzels and chocolate ;o)

    In the summer here in CA I do lots of avocados, usually do one half avocado on a piece of whole grain toast once a day. But it’s harder in the winter.

    • I love chocolate. Skinny Cow make some chocolate bars that are not too bad, calorie-wise.

      It’s weird b/c I was never a fan of peanut butter, but since I’ve had my loss of taste issue I can’t get enough of peanut butter pretzels. If I’m not careful, I will keep eating until I finish a bag!

      Avocados are great! I love putting them on my salads.

    • amelia earhart :

      do you just mash the avocado down on the toast, or do you slice it and spread it out?

      this sounds delicious!

      • It is so good. For a little extra healthiness, you can also sprinkle the top of the avocado with some flax seeds. But it is one of my favorite things in the world, and I eat very healthy normally, so it’s really good for me to have some extra good fats.

        I take the half avocado still in the skin, cut slices into it with a knife and then scoop it out with a spoon onto the bread. Then i can pretty easily spread it across the bread a little more.

        Actually this is making me want to check the avocados at the store tonight and see if they look any good, ddroooooolllllllll

        • Oh man I do this too and it’s soooooooooooooooooooo good and satisfying. If you have a costco membership, I think they have the best (& cheapest) avocados.
          Also, a tip I learned a bit back is buy a pack and let them ripen on the counter, then as soon as they hit optimal ripeness, throw them in the fridge. They last a couple of weeks & stay @ that perfect level of ripeness instead of becoming moosh.

    • saltylady :

      I do the avocado on toast thing too– smashed with sea salt. There are good avocados to buy right now since it’s hotter now than in summer (at least near the beach in LA). It’s freaking 84 today– it’s usually 68 and cloudy in the summer. (sorry to east coast people, but it’s not good– it’s dry as hell and we have fires now because of it, along with no water).

    • I love avocado on toast. But I can’t make toast in my office so sometimes I bring in half an avocado and eat it with a spoon. Maybe with a sprinkling of salt. Unfortunately I’m in a cube and have gotten strange looks…but it’s really filling and delicious and healthy!

    • I love avocados, but they’re never ripe when I want them to be or I think they’re ripe and cut into them and they’re too hard to eat OR I wait too long and they’ve gone moldy. I feel like I only eat 1/3 of the avocados I buy, so its a huge waste of money.

      • LH – click on this for a laugh

      • yeah, avocado eating is a major skill. It took me a while and lots of trial and error, and I have to really pay attention, but I’m finally good at picking them out and timing when i buy them/eat them, and I get to eat about 90% of them. Only once in a while do I get bummed out and open one that is too far gone, and then I cry into my tea all afternoon…

        • I wrote this above but if you let them reach ripeness (you kinda just feel the outside, it should give about the same as pressing the skin inbtwn your thumb & index) & then throw them in the fridge. They will stay at that ripeness for a pretty long time.
          Also to speed up ripening, you can flick off the little stem and it should be good to eat w/in 48 hrs.
          When I started doing this I got a long more avocado bang for my bug.

    • wildkitten :

      I recently saw that Blue Diamond is making flavored almonds. I haven’t tried them yet, but that sounds promising.

  16. Anon for this :

    Can anyone recommend resources for coping with premature ovarian failure (premature menopause)? I’m dealing with this after cancer and am just so, so discouraged and sad. It’s the fertility loss coupled with the fear that I’ll never have a satisfying intimate life again. I had lots of support during treatments but am feeling so alone now and, frankly, would rather not discuss some of my concerns with friends/family (though I’m sure they’d be willing). I’d love to find a supportive online community (like this!) but I’d welcome tips for books or organizations. (Reading back over this, maybe I should see a counselor too). Thanks in advance.

    • No advice, hugs and rawrs

    • anon also :

      I don’t know of specific resources but just wanted to offer support/sympathy. That sounds really difficult.

      I think you are so right to consider a counselor. Specifically, I wonder if a Health Psychologist might be particularly helpful since your distress is stemming from a medical issue. You are really brave to reach out and I hope things will start to improve for you!

    • Check out the American Cancer Society – they might have links to survivor groups. If you were treated at a large hospital, maybe they have survivors groups or a social worker who could put in touch with someone.

      This must be so difficult for you, I hope you can find some help.

      • Anon for this :

        Thank you all for the tips. I’ve been thinking about seeking out a counselor but wasn’t sure how to get started. And I’ll try ACS. At the hospital I always seem to be the youngest woman or only one without kids, so I feel like I can’t relate, but surely a big organization can put me in touch with people in a similar stage of life. Thanks again, sincerely. It’s surprising how comforting it is to have anonymous strangers offer sympathy :)

        • FORCE [Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered] is actually a group for women with genetic risks of cancer, primarily BRCA, which leads many women to have early oophorectomy. Although not all that “early” for me, I found the website and support there helpful. It’s facingourrisk dotorg

    • Resolve has infertility and premature ovarian failure resources. I’m sorry

    • Anonymous :

      I am so sorry to hear that. As an outsider, I think that hearing you voice your feelings/concerns in such an aware, open manner means you will 100%, absolutely make it though this and out the other end. Specifically stating what is bothering us, even only to ourselves, is a crucial step in healing. I wish I had more to offer, like any resources, but I would echo the suggestion to see a therapist. You will get through this.

    • Anonymous :

      I hope this might be helpful:
      The ipofa stands for International Premature Ovarian Failure Association, Inc. (IPOFA). It looks like you have to pay $40 annually for membership, but it sounds like it might be worth it for the support you can receive.

  17. TO Lawyer :

    I tried not keeping snacks at the office and then I will end up starving one afternoon and end up with some giant pastry or cookie from starbucks that is not helping me in my goal to lose weight.

    So I keep lots of granola bars, individually wrapped chocolates and when I’m on my game, bring apples and greek yogurt to the office. When I have apples and greek yogurt at work, I rarely eat my unhealthy snacks so I guess that’s a plus

  18. I always have beef jerky in my cupboard at work. We buy these single serving ones (my boys sometimes take them in their lunches, too) and they are only 80 calories, and have 13g protein, and boy do they keep me full! I usually like a sweeter snack, and they are on the expensive side when compared to an apple, so I don’t eat them every day. Oh, and they are high in sodium, but sodium isn’t something I worry about (low, low blood pressure here).

  19. I’m pregnant, so I snack fairly frequently right now. I’ve been having:

    – 100 calorie almond packs (I love the ones with cocoa powder)
    – a little plain greek yogurt with smashed raspberries and a bit of honey (my toddler also loves this for breakfast)
    – strawburst smoothie from Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run book (I only have 1/4-1/2 of the total that the recipe makes)
    – cereal with a little shredded cheese (I know it’s weird, but it works for me!)
    – half a luna bar, clif bar or similar

    And don’t underestimate the power of water. I have a giant insulated water bottle from EcoVessel that I LOVE- keeps water very cold, and I don’t have to refill it a million times.

  20. I really enjoy Lara Bars. My husband recently bought me a box of the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor from Amazon (so much cheaper). It is my absolute favorite flavor.

    We also make green smoothies every morning, and I realized that I actually do better during the day if I wait to drink it for an afternoon snack. They are filling and take care of my sweet tooth. Because the green color can freak out coworkers, I don’t put it in a clear cup for fridge storage, and I put a sticky note with the date on it.

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