…IDEAL for when hunger strikes at your desk and you’re a long way from lunch or dinner.

We’ve all been there; wolfing down our packed lunch at 10am from a mix of boredom and hunger. And we’ve all felt the shame and emptiness that follows. Indeed, eating well and healthily in the office is tough, with temptation lurking at every turn.

The answer? Healthy, affordable snacks to keep the wolf from the door until lunchtime or give you a much-needed energy boost to get you through until you click ‘Shut down’. With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with mealdeliveryexperts.com to bring you these; our 7 of the best healthy office snacks, IDEAL for when hunger strikes at your desk and you’re a long way from lunch or dinner.

UNSALTED NUTS

Unsalted nuts are a great snack in between the meals, as they’re great at satiating that nagging hunger every office worker seems to suffer from on a daily basis. This is because they’re high in protein and polyunsaturated fats, which are known to suppress appetite. But remember that even though they’re healthy (and damn delicious, we might add) the calories they contain can quickly add up to a rather big number. For instance, 1 ounce of almonds, which is around 23 almonds, contains 163 calories. Resist the urge to overindulge!

BANANAS

Bananas are perfect if you have a craving for something sweet, since they’re cheap, healthy and super tasty, in contrast to a bar filled with sugar and unhealthy fats. Bananas contain significant amounts of vitamins B6 and C, as well as fibre and potassium, so not only do they keep you full through ‘till lunch, but they can also do wonders for your skin, keep your blood pressure on the right level and get rid of the excess of cholesterol. Basically, is there anything a banana can’t do?

POPCORN

Though a big box wolfed down at the cinema seems like the antithesis of a ‘healthy snack’, popcorn does, in fact, fall in the ‘good-for-you’ category if you avoid all that added sugar and salt found in many supermarket versions. So, instead of buying the pre-popped type, buy some kernels and pop them in the office’s microwave by using a microwave-safe bowl and plate. And instead of salt or sugar, you can try adding some chilli or paprika for flavour. Result!

VEGETABLE STICKS WITH HUMMUS

Hummus and vegetables are a great source of the nutrients that your body needs. Due to hummus boasting high levels of good fats provided by olive oil, and all the goodness which chickpeas bring (a good source of iron, protein, calcium and fibre) it’s one of those snacks which tastes unhealthy but is actually quite the opposite. Just watch the salt levels in readymade versions, and if you can, make your own.

And for the dipping? There are so many veggies you can choose from – carrots, celery, bell peppers…something crunchy and long enough are the only prerequisites. Raw and adulterated, this is a fantastic way to rack up your five-a-day, fast.

YOGHURT 

It’s good to keep yoghurt in your office’s fridge, to be enjoyed over cereal or on its own, as it is high in calcium and protein as well as probiotics, potassium and magnesium. Also, the ‘good bacteria’ (probiotics) it contains can aid digestion, promote positive gut health and whose presence is increasingly being linked with a much improved overall health. Be mindful of overly sweetened yoghurts and instead opt for a lighter Greek yoghurt or a bottle of Yakult, which turns those probiotics up to the max.

DRIED FRUITS

Psychologically, dried fruit just seems more ‘snackable’ than the fresh stuff. And that’s just fine; they contain minerals and vitamins just as their fresh versions do, but are much easier to store and can be preserved for much longer. Some of the most popular dried fruits include apricot, dates, raisins and figs; ideal for having on the desk for a little pick-me-up in that mid-afternoon slot when your focus always seems to slip. When shopping for dried fruit, remember to choose those without added sugar. 

PEANUT OR ALMOND BUTTER 

A natural nut butter, such as peanut or almond butter, can be a very good snack since one portion of peanut butter contains 8 grams of protein and around 3 grams of fibre; great for curbing a growling appetite. Of course, a vehicle makes it more enjoyable, but that doesn’t have to be bread. Instead, you could spread the butter on rice cakes or a slice of apple. And with that, we hope you make it ‘till dinner!