10 Healthy Snacks to Stash at Work

By , Melissa Rudy, Health & Fitness Journalist
When you work outside the home, sticking to a nutritious, low-calorie diet requires some extra planning. Kudos to you for starting your day with a smart breakfast and taking the time to plan healthy lunches. But when those three o'clock cravings kick in, will you be prepared? Or will you fall prey to the silent call of the vending machine, the brownies in the break room or the calorie-stuffed candy jar on your co-worker's desk? The key to making it all the way to dinner without undoing all your hard work is a stash of healthy, yet satisfying, snacks within arm's reach.
When it's done right, snacking can help keep hunger at bay and curb overeating at meals, which may reduce overall calorie intake throughout the day. And if you're not getting the recommended amount of fruits, vegetables, fiber or protein from regular meals, a healthy snack is a great way to make up the deficit.
Read on for 10 sensible yet satisfying snacks to keep in your desk drawer, locker or briefcase.

Peanuts, Almonds or Pistachios

Not only are nuts packed with filling protein and fiber, these sometimes salty snacks could actually extend your life. According to a study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, people who consumed more nuts—which could include pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts and walnuts—lived longer and were less likely to experience heart disease, cancer or respiratory disease. Nuts have also been shown to promote weight loss by replacing other nutrition-lacking snacks. As an added bonus, nuts contain health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, the antioxidant vitamin E and high amounts of anti-aging resveratrol.

Homemade Trail Mix

Indulge all your taste buds with ¼-cup portions of homemade trail mix. Get creative with a mashup of ingredients, from peanuts and raisins to dried fruit, whole grain cereal and dark chocolate chips. 

Fresh Fruit

Next time your sweet tooth comes calling, reach for a piece of fresh fruit instead of a cookie or chocolate bar. Apples, bananas, pears, kiwis and oranges are all perfectly portable snacks that can be safely stored in a desk drawer for the day. In addition to curbing cravings, fruit provides a generous dose of fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer. Be sure to rotate your fruit choice to get a rich nutrient variety.


Don't let their small size fool you—these flavorful dried grapes pack a powerful nutritional punch. Regular raisin consumption has been linked to reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and anemia, while helping to promote eye, bone and teeth health.

Dried Apricots

Pack more protein into your diet with a snack of dried apricots. They also contain ample amounts of vitamin A, iron and potassium. Because dried fruit doesn't contain water, it's less filling than fresh fruit, so portion it out into half-cup servings to avoid overeating. Not a fan of apricots? Try dried bananas, prunes, peaches or currants, which all have the same high protein content.

Sugar Snap Peas

Get the satisfying crunch of chips, without the fat and calories. Sugar snap peas offer plenty of flavor, even without the extra calories of a dip. They require no preparation or peeling, and can be stored outside of a refrigerator for at least a day or two.


We’re not talking the movie theater variety. Low-fat popcorn caters to your salt craving while also delivering a serving of whole grains and a generous amount of fiber. Popcorn is also high in polyphenols, which help to neutralize the free radicals that can cause cell damage and accelerate the effects of aging. Air-popped popcorn is healthiest, as opposed to the processed or microwave variety.

Carrot Sticks

Bugs Bunny was on to something. Carrot sticks are a filling, guilt-free mid-day snack, made all the more appetizing when you add a healthy, nutrient-rich dip, such as hummus or almond butter. The root vegetable is also a rich source of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

Reduced Fat String Cheese Sticks

As if you needed another reason to love cheese, enter these low-maintenance dairy delights. Each portable stick has only 100 calories or less, plus plenty of calcium, protein and carbs to pull you out of that mid-day slump. If you're craving some crunch, pair a cheese stick with a few whole-wheat crackers or carrots.

Rice Cakes

When it comes to portable, low-calorie and low-fat office snacks, rice cakes are tough to beat. Although they may not contain as much nutrients as other options, they provide energy-boosting carbs, iron and a small amount of fiber. For added flavor and nutrients, top your cake with hummus, peanut butter or almond butter.

Tips for Smart Snacking

  • Snack intentionally, not mindlessly. Focus on and savor each bite of your snack, instead of munching on autopilot while reading emails. When you slow down and pay attention to the flavor, texture and even the sound of your food, you'll get more satisfaction out of your snack (and will be less likely to overeat).
  • Use food as fuel. If you have low blood sugar or didn't get enough calories at lunch, you may find yourself feeling fatigued in the afternoon. Instead of relying on coffee or soda as a mid-day perk, reach for a clean, healthy snack to keep you going.
  • Avoid emotional snacking. They call it "comfort food" for a reason. You may feel compelled to grab a snack when you're stressed or frazzled at work. Before you dig into the drawer, ask yourself if your body is truly in need of the food, or if you're just feeding those negative emotions. If the answer is the latter, reach for a glass of water or tea instead.
  • Don't snack and socialize. We've all been there: The birthday cake in the break room, the group trip to the vending machines or the fundraising bake sale. Resist the urge to succumb to social snacking. Each snack should serve a purpose.
  • Be prudent about portions. Never eat directly from a bag or box of snacks. Measure out your portions using snack-size baggies to prevent over-snacking.

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WHITEANGEL4 7/28/2021
Thanks Report
Always open for great ideas Report
REDROBIN47 7/5/2021
Good ideas. Report
Great article. Report
Mindfulness is the key! Report
GEORGE815 6/14/2021
Thanks Report
SHERYE 6/13/2021
Thank you Report
FISHGUT3 6/13/2021
thanks Report
Always open to helpful suggestions Report
CATNAP6291 4/28/2021
good info Report
TZVI-R 4/26/2021
Thanks! Report
SHOAPIE 3/26/2021
Good suggestions Report
JUSTJ2014 3/13/2021
Since I do not work I have all my pantry snacks anytime Report
MUGABI123 2/19/2021
Excellent snack ideas! Report
NANHBH 2/14/2021
I like all these foods! Report
JUDY1676 2/6/2021
Thanks Report
CATNAP6291 2/6/2021
great ideas Report
JULIJULINN 1/25/2021
Thank you Report
BOB5148 1/5/2021
Thanks Report
Smart snacking is a key! Report
JULIJULINN 12/26/2020
Printed and posted Report
Great tips! Report
JULIJULINN 10/23/2020
Ty Report
CD17744865 10/17/2020
Great tips, Thank You Report
CD2693807 10/10/2020
interesting article and comments Report
NANHBH 10/5/2020
First day of work after being retired for a year. My lunch bag is packed with many of these healthy snacks - carrots, celery, red, orange, & green peppers, cheese sticks, & cashews. Let the healthy eating begin! Report
ELRIDDICK 9/22/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
PATRICIAANN46 9/20/2020
Thank You................. Report
CATNAP6291 9/18/2020
good ideas Report
BOB5148 9/14/2020
Thanks Report
CD4994568 9/4/2020
Prunes also! Report
BLUEDAWN66 9/2/2020
I will keep these tips in mind when I find work. My last job as a cook made it easy to have healthier choices on hand but it also had lots of temptations. Report
DOWNIN2021 8/26/2020
Great ideas! Report
I also kept a 60 calorie square of dark chocolate that along with a few raisins made a delicious afternoon snack. Report
thanks Report
My issue is to stay away from sweets🍩 Report
When I worked I kept a stash of walnuts/pecans in my desk drawer. Report
I don't work but these are good to keep at home for snacks also. Report
I am retired but great ideas. Report
Unsalted nuts are the best snack! Report
I have to pratice portion control! Report
Thank you. But as you say, watch the portions! Report
Thanks for the ideas Report
Good reminders!! Report
I love sugar snap peas! Report
All good choices Report
Great information Report
These are some good ideas. Report
I have NEVER tried it with beans and salza before! Think I am missing something? Report
Great information. Thanks for sharing. Report