You’re sitting in the office and suddenly you hear a loud grumble. It wasn't thunder, it wasn't a loud car outside on the road and it wasn't your frustrated co-worker two cubicles down who can never seem to figure out how Excel really works - it was, in fact, your stomach.
We've all been there, that point in the day where you just need a little sustenance to give yourself the needed energy and your tummy the satisfaction to move forward through the day. Snacking at the office doesn't have to mean making a B-line for the glowing, humming box of temptation, also known as the vending machine, or running out to the closest fast food restaurant. Snacking can be convenient, tasty, and healthy all in one. Often times we are rushing around thinking about what we have to do tonight, tomorrow, or even next week. Among all the chaos it’s hard to remember to implement foods into our diet that help us get the vital nutrition our bodies need. Snacking is a great opportunity to help us increase our intake of healthy foods that keep our bodies healthy and happy.
Here are some options to spark some inspiration:
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Fresh fruits and vegetables help give us the fiber, vitamins and antioxidants we need. There are so many different varieties that it’s hard to get bored if you keep your options open.
Fruits are one of the easiest things to snack on. Throw an apple or banana into your bag on the way out or grab some grapes or fresh berries.
In the mood for chips? Crunch on some cucumber slices sprinkled with a dash of salt and black pepper or another seasoning you may like. Or slice up some bell pepper for a pop of color.-Don’t have the time to slice vegetables? Go for the pre-bagged baby carrots or sliced carrot chips at the grocery store.
Rev it up by dipping veggies in hummus or a low fat dip.
Nuts are full of healthy fats and protein and are a small but powerful snack where a little goes a long way.
Grab a handful of almonds, peanuts, pistachios, etc, before you leave the house, or grab some of each and create your own trail mix.
Yogurt is a good way to get a protein filled snack and it’s also packed with probiotics which are good for the digestive system.
Add the nuts or fresh berries you brought to mix things up. Just be aware that many yogurts have high sugar content, so compare brands and find the right option for you.
Grains have carbohydrates which give us the energy we need, but it’s important to make sure you are consuming whole grains.
Most servings of popcorn (non-buttered) are about 3 cups for a little over 100 calories. Keep it interesting by adding things like herbs, spices or cinnamon, depending on your mood.
Snack on whole wheat crackers and throw a piece of cheese in the mix for some protein and calcium.
Now, let’s be honest. There’s nothing like the crunch of a potato chip, the taste of chocolate or the fizz of soda. We all deserve to treat ourselves to indulgences now and then, but even with these snacks you can try to choose the healthier options- like baked chips, dark chocolate and replacing some of the soda you drink with water. Water isn't necessarily a snack but it does a great job in keeping us full as well as hydrated.
Balance and moderation are key components in not just snacking but our diets as a whole. One of the most important things about snacking is to remember to be creative. If you’re excited about your snacks you’ll be more prone to eat them, it’s as simple as that. Don’t force yourself to snack on a particular healthy food just because it’s healthy. Go for the ones you like and remember to enjoy your food and have fun with it!