7 Shelf-Stable Healthy Snacks For Work

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

When you’re on the job and hungry, no doubt you need a bite to get you through. If you didn’t bring along, or have snacks stored in your drawers, your options are only limited to vending machines or leftover candies. The best plan when your stomach rumbles is to be prepared with an arsenal of healthy, non-perishable snacks that you can easily tuck away in your desk drawer.

1. Single-serving of almonds

When your attention is trained on other things (like the job you have to do!) it’s all too easy to keep digging into an open box of snacks; individual portions make mindless work of stopping at one serving. Plus, if you select nuts, you’ll curb hunger quickly, since they are packed with satisfying protein and heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats.

Lightly salted almonds

Nutritional Facts of a Single-Serve Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds (43 g = ~1.5 oz)

  • Calories: 260
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Carbohydrate: 7 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Net Carb: 3 g
  • Sodium: 130 mg

2. Fruit cups (better yet, fresh fruit)

Fruit is an easy, natural way to satisfy a sweet tooth. But sometimes fresh fruit spoils, or may not be at the ready when you are, fruit cups are the perfect way to knock out a serving of produce. There are many brands of single-serve fruit cups; make sure to choose unsweetened.

Fruit cups unsweetened

Nutritional Facts of a 365 Single-Serve Fruit Cup (1 bowl ~113g)

  • Calories: 70
  • Protein: <1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrate: 16 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Net Carb: 15 g

3. Packets of instant oatmeal

Rolled oats and steel-cut oats may be a healthier version when we have time to prepare. But when time is short and cooking facility is limited, a pack of instant oatmeal is still better than sweets and donuts. Choose unsweetened version to keep added sugar at bay.

Instant oatmeal for work

Nutritional Facts of a pack of Quaker Instant Oatmeal Unsweetened (28 g)

  • Calories: 100
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Net Carb: 15 g
  • Sodium: 75 mg

4. Tea

Sometimes taking the time to drink a hot beverage can help you slow down long enough to realize you’re satisfied after a meal. And when you’re stressed, hot tea can keep you from eating to keep your calm. Keep a few tea bags in your desk drawer for a quick cup.

Nutritional Facts of a cup of tea

  • Calories: 0

5. Granola bars

Granola bars make great quick bites, but many are full of sugar and fat. Choosing a bar that’s loaded with whole grains with a decent amount of protein, and that is also low added sugar is essential. I’ve chosen a brand specializing in oatmeal, it’s exciting to learn that Bob’s Red Mill also has a line of granola bars. This particular peanut-butter coconut granola bar has peanuts as the first ingredient, followed by whole grain oats. Each bar provides 190 calories with 6 g of protein and 3 g of fiber. For more choices, here are 6 snack bars that are high in protein.

Bob's Red Mill Granola Bars with high protein and fiber

Nutritional Facts of Bob’s Red Mill Peanut-Butter Coconut & Oat (42 g)

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrate: 21 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Net Carb: 18 g
  • Sodium: 85 mg

6. Dark chocolate squares

Just about every office has a candy dish – and they’re often full of different candies and chocolate. Instead of digging in sweets you didn’t picked, satisfy a chocolate craving by eating a choice of your own: intense and satisfying dark chocolate squares. I’ve picked a 70% dark chocolate product here; but if you like a higher cocoa content, it will even be better with less sugar.

Healthy chocolate

Nutritional Facts of 3 squares of Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate Bar (30 g)

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrate: 13 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Net Carb: 11 g
  • Sodium: 5 mg

7. Crystallized citrus power

We all know we need to drink more water, but if you want more flavor, the office vending machine can’t provide many options that don’t also load you up with caffeine, sugar substitutes, or calories. Unlike the other usual suspects, True Lemon powder contains zero artificial sweeteners to keep it at zero calories. Keeping a handful of packets like these on hand makes it easy to bypass the sodas in favor of water with jazzy citrus flavor (and without the hassle of fresh-squeezed slices).

True Lemon flavored water

Nutritional Facts of a pack of True Lemon (0.8 g)

  • Calories: 0

The Bottom Line

When you’re at work, keep your healthy intentions with these great choices for shelf-stable snacks. When you’re prepared to handle hunger, it’s more likely that you’ll keep a lid on the calories and added sugar. And when you’re energized with healthy foods, it’s easier to be productive at work!


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