The best healthy snacks for the office

Today, I ceremoniously dumped the candy from my office candy dish. Every day we talk about thoughtfully-designed workplaces that promote healthy work habits through ergonomics, lighting, and flexible work tools — and healthy snacks should be of equal consideration.

This year, new federal dietary guidelines recommend we limit added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, which for the majority of Americans, means cutting sugar intake by half! This can be challenging in the workplace where there’s often candy, bagels, cookies and more, lusciously displayed and just waiting to be eaten.

So now what do I put in the proverbial candy dish? Here are some suggestions, and keep in mind — NO utensils! Office snacks should be finger foods.

Nuts

Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are a great option because they are high in protein. Most protein is found in dairy products and meat, which are higher in fat and not as easy to snack on.

Dried fruits, trail mix, and granola

When purchasing dried fruit, prepared trail mix, and granola, buy all-natural to avoid the processed products that add sugar. Or try making your own, like this Cherry Walnut Granola. You can find some awesome selections of Michigan-made products from Good Life Granola and Cherry Republic.

Fresh fruit

Fruit is always a great snack because it travels easily and often does not require refrigeration. I love Halo mandarins and Honeycrisp apples. Add some peanut butter, and you have a protein rich alternative to caramel apples.

Fresh vegetables

Try fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas. Add flavor with a protein-rich hummusor lentil and sun-dried tomato spread. Most stores offer pre-washed and cut veggies, and quality all-natural dips.

Popcorn and rice cakes

When you need the satisfying crunch of chips, snacks like Skinny Pop, mini rice cakes, and almond crackers are healthier than their counterparts and can please even those hardcore potato chip addicts.

Low-fat cheeses

Portable snacks like low-fat string cheese, low-fat cottage cheese or mini Babybel light cheese are 100 percent natural and provide a punch of protein and calcium.

When you’re ready to make the change, trashing the bad stuff and introducing healthy snacks into the workplace is easy:

  • Share the gathering duties with peers by making or purchasing a fun new snack each week and introduce it to the group
  • Subscribe to a snack subscription so the good stuff will simply come to your door. Snack Nation will send you healthy snacks like fruit leathers, sweet potato chips and more
  • Find local grocers, caterers, or food companies to deliver fresh fruit and nuts trays on a regular basis

Offering healthy snacks in the office is a great way to introduce a non-physical wellness program. Limiting fats and sugar helps elevate moods, and adding protein boosts our energy.  Promoting healthy eating habits for employees by making it convenient and inexpensive is a win-win for the team.

 

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