A Dietitian’s Take: My 4 Favorite Healthy Work Snacks

Can’t stand the 3 p.m. slump? Do you frequently forget to pack food for work and find yourself grabbing a quick (and unhealthy) option instead? Having nutritious snacks at the ready in your desk drawer can help you be productive and maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day.

Workplace stress cannot only make you reach for unhealthy snacks while you’re on the clock, but even afterwards as well. A recent study found that employees who had a stressful workday tend to carry that stress home to their dinner table — making unhealthier choices at home. While you can’t always control what the workday brings, you can keep yourself on track by eating a balanced snack that makes you a bit more likely to stay the course until dinner time.

Another reason to choose healthier options for your “it’s almost the end of the day” slump is because they can help you perform better. Another recent study found that eating processed carbs (cakes, cookies, crackers) lessens brainpower, which isn’t good if you want to maintain focus and pump out quality work.

It’s one thing to know that choosing a healthy work snack is important, but it’s another to come up with ideas that are good for you, taste good, and are quick and practical. This is where I come in — here’s some of the best snacks that I personally love during a busy workday:

Roasted chickpeas

  • This snack option packs a lot of nutrition into one: fiber, protein, and steady carbs. Not to mention, they have a really fun texture and they come in different flavors that help crush that salty craving.
Roasted chickpeas in a bowl
(© Carla Nichiata – stock.adobe.com)

Plain Greek yogurt with all the toppings

  • If you have a fridge at your job, this one is a great health hack. You can easily put a pack of plain Greek yogurts into the fridge to have throughout the week and keep toppings like dried fruit, pretzels, and nuts in your cabinet. Not only would these make for a protein and healthy fat-rich snack, but also breakfast on those days that you’re rushing out the door and don’t want to grab a donut in the drive-thru.
Yogurt with fruit toppings
(Credit: Any Lane from Pexels)


  • You can’t go wrong with a quick dose of vitamin C! A bag of clementines is great for popping into your drawer, as they don’t require refrigeration and will last for about a week outside of one. If you do have a fridge at work, they’ll last up to three weeks in there.
Clementines on wooden table
Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer from Unsplash

Seaweed snacks

  • If you’re typically one to crave a bag of chips as snacks or with your lunch, look no further. Seaweed snacks have the exact same salty flavor you are looking for, with barely any salt actually in them. They are also a great source of iodine and tyrosine, which is fantastic for thyroid health.
Roasted Seaweed Snack
Roasted Seaweed Snack by vonslatt is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

There are a lot more ideas out there you could go for, but these are some favorites that help keep me get through long days. If you have the time and creativity, you can even experiment with different mixes of fruits, veggies, and grains to create snack packs and make an “adult Lunchables” type situation!

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About the Author

Shyla Cadogan, RD

Shyla Cadogan is a DMV-Based acute care Registered Dietitian. She holds specialized interests in integrative nutrition and communicating nutrition concepts in a nuanced, approachable way.

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