5 Healthy Snacks to Keep at Work (No Fridge Required!)

5 ideas for healthy snacks that you can keep in your desk drawer to keep your energy up and your pant size down.

Whenever 3pm rolls around in my office, I notice a sudden increase in the number of people standing around the vending machine or heading over to the coffee maker for another cup. There is a reason why we have the urge to eat in the late afternoon: Our energy naturally dips after a long day and we seek a boost in the form of sugary snacks and caffeine.

There is nothing wrong with snacking as long as you do it right. Here are the foods I keep in my desk “snack drawer” to make sure my blood sugar stays steady, I don’t fall asleep on my desk,  and I’m not leaving the office ready to eat everything and anything…

#1 “Superfood” Trail Mix


Not all trail mix is created equal. Many pre-packaged trail mixes that you will find available in vending machines and convenience stores contain added sugars, salt, artificial flavors, and preservatives. You want to find trail mixes with the least processed ingredients you can.

Read the ingredients label and keep an eye out for things like corn syrup, lactose, soy lecithin, emulsifiers, artificial colors, and corn oil. All you should see listed are the foods you actually recognize like peanuts, cashews, raisins, pumpkin seeds, etc.

My favorite kind of trail mixes are the ones I put together myself in the “Bulk” section of health food stores or supermarkets like Whole Foods. Bulk bins are containers of unpackaged ingredients like nuts, grains, seeds, and dried fruits that are sold by the pound and almost always cheaper than the packaged kinds.

I like to mix together my own combination of walnuts, unsweetened raisins, apricots, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate chips.

While salted and roasted nuts are more processed and less nutritious overall than raw nuts are, it’s okay to mix the two kinds together to keep the taste interesting while still maintaining most of the health benefits.

#2 Wholegrain Crackers And Chips

Crackers can be tricky because even though some brands may boast that they are wholegrain, you never really know what you are getting until you read the label.

I like to buy crackers made with as many recognizable ingredients and wholegrains as possible including brown rice, flax seeds, quinoa, potato, and sesame seeds. Bean chips, usually made with a combination of ground beans, spices, and other grains are also a great option for those who want to avoid gluten.

Crackers like these can provide a good amount of filling protein and fiber, plus the perfect amount of satisfying salt and crunch. There are lots of brands out there, so browse the aisle before committing. Look for those with the least amount of bleached flours and added preservatives included. Some of my favorites are CrunchMasters, Beanitos, Mary’s Gone Crackers, and Blue Diamond.

#3 Dark Chocolate


Many of us find ourselves in the mood for something sweet in the afternoon. Instead of turning to the cookies and leftover birthday cake that are likely around your office, be prepared and stash some good quality dark chocolate in your desk to have instead. Usually just a little bit is enough to satisfy cravings since the flavor of real minimally processed cocoa is intense.

Health-wise, the higher the percentage of dark cocoa the better and you want to look for organic varieties whenever possible. Bonus if you can find “raw cocoa” bars, which are beaming with antioxidants. Some of my favorite brands are Dagoda, Green & Black’s, Theo, and Granada Chocolate.

Knowing you have your own sweet (healthy) treat waiting at your desk should be good incentive for you to say no to the cupcakes being passed around.

#4 Unrefrigerated Fruit

At the beginning of the work week I like to stock up on fruit that won’t easily go bad stored in a bowl on my desk.

My favorites are apples, pears, bananas, plums, mangoes, and peaches. These require no refrigeration and if you buy some that are not totally ripe yet, they will stay good and become perfectly sweet as the week goes on. Fruit is a great snack between meals because it contains fiber and a high volume of water to fill you up and keep you hydrated.

#5 Natural Mints And Gum


Sometimes we just have the desire to chew something and this is where keeping our mouths busy with gum and mints comes in. You might think you are hungry, but try having a large glass of water and chewing some gum first, and you may find the feeling disappears.

Many brands are made with artificial sweeteners, which can lead to headaches and stomach pains, so look for the kinds that are made with regular sugar. The amount of sugar you consume from each piece is usually so minimal that you don’t need to worry as long as you don’t chew too many pieces a day.

To avoid overdoing it on the junk food that is inevitably available at work, or being so hungry by the time you eat dinner that you overdo it, plan to have some healthy snacks on hand. Stash your desk with my filling and nutritious favorites so you’re prepared ahead of time to deal with 3pm “snack attacks” the right way.

Cover photo: www.weheartit.com


About the author

Jillian Babcock

Jill is a healthy food lover and Certified Holistic Health Counselor. She loves “healthifying” recipes and practicing yoga as she works toward become an instructor. You can find her around NYC seeking out all the latest things related to health and fitness.

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