Healthy Snacks for the Office

July 21, 2011

A good way to derail a healthy nutrition plan is to discount the hours spent at the office.  Time passes while sitting in a meeting or sustaining focus on a task, blood sugar levels drop, and cravings begin, prompting a bee-line to the vending machine to grab a not-so-healthy snack.

Sound familiar?  If you’re like most people, the answer is yes.  But with a little planning, you can eliminate the extra calories and other negatives inherent in impromptu snacking.

Try to incorporate snack foods into your diet that not only satisfy your hunger but contribute to overall nutritional requirements for the day. In addition, be aware of portion sizes and don’t snack mindlessly. Pay attention to what you are eating while you are doing it so that you don’t continue to eat for the sake of something else to do. When the portion is gone, snack time ends.

As in most things related to good nutrition, it’s important  to have healthy alternatives available when the urge to snack surfaces. You can accomplish that by storing low-calorie snacks in your desk drawer. Baked tortilla chips, air-popped popcorn, rice cakes, or peanut butter on whole wheat crackers are all good choices.

Other options are dried soups, fruit cups, mini-cans of water packed tuna and instant oatmeal. Or place a small bowl on your desk and keep it stocked with fruit, a colorful focal point for your office and a quick go-to place when the urge to snack strikes.

Another alternative is to add a mini-refrigerator to your office and keep it stocked with yogurt, veggies and low cal dressing, celery stuffed with peanut butter or lettuce wraps.

Also be aware of the number of sugar laden drinks you’re consuming throughout the day. Not only do they cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels they can quickly add up to a significant amount of unwanted calories each day.