Chips and cookies? Banana and whole wheat crackers? Protein bar and nuts? Your snack stash says a lot about you and your work environment. While it might be tempting to stock up on candy and chips, smart snack decisions can boost productivity, keep you engaged and maintain your focus.
Here’s a smart snacking strategy to help you get through the day.
10:00 a.m. – Snack time
You’ve got a few options. Healthy or not healthy? The temptation of the yummy vending machine snacks, the fast food next door or the community snacks in the breakroom can be hard to resist. By bringing your own snacks to work, you’re in control of what you eat. Keep healthy options in your desk, locker or backpack to tackle your cravings.
Here are some healthy ideas for munchies:
- Homemade trail mix
- Veggie chips
- Cheese sticks
- Raw veggies with hummus
- Fresh or dried fruit
- Protein or granola bars
12:00 p.m. – Lunch time
Be prepared. It’s a simple way to eat healthier and avoid temptation. Prepping lunches for the week puts you in control of your food choices and lessens temptation to grab a fast food meal. Choose recipes that are easy to make and easy to pack so you’re ready whether you’re eating at your station or in the breakroom. Complete the meal prep over the weekend to avoid making lunch after a long day of work or when you’re rushing to get out the door. You may even find your coworkers are a little envious of the yummy lunches you prepared!
Here are some lunch ideas that are easy, quick and downright delicious:
- Thai tofu Buddha bowls
- Grilled chicken cobb salad
- Turkey spinach pinwheels and veggies
- Taco salad bowls with quinoa
- Greek whole grain and grilled veggie wrap
Find more tasty recipes here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/recipes.html
3:00 p.m. – Provide encouragement
Sometimes it’s hard to stay on the healthy-eating track when you face tempting, but less nutritious options at work. Remember, you can be an inspiration to others. When someone comments on your lunches or snacks, let them know how easy it is to make healthier substitutions for that hamburger and fries or share some of your favorite meal prep tips.
You can also encourage your employer to support healthier choices for everyone. Here are some ideas to inspire leadership.
- Ask your employer to switch out the potato chips in the vending machines for whole wheat crackers or unsalted popcorn. Encourage trading the sodas for carbonated water.
- Get creative with a team cookbook. Ask your coworkers to share their favorite healthy recipes and compile the collection into a simple downloadable file.
- Make suggestions for healthier celebrations and team meetings. Recommend fruit and whole grain muffins instead of bagels and donuts. Frozen banana pops, rice crispy bars or fruit tarts are healthier ways to celebrate a birthday.
- Join your company’s wellness team, or start one, to show your commitment to making healthier choices. Your involvement can positively impact the culture for everyone in your organization.
- Create a support circle by finding coworkers who share your passion for eating healthier. Lean on them for support and accountability when you need to stay on track. Share food prep ideas, new restaurant finds and tips on how to eat healthier at workplace events. Hand out the high-fives when someone makes it through the week without giving in to temptation.
11 Quick Lunches to Bring to Work,” Damn Delicious.net, Accessed January 2020. https://damndelicious.net/2018/05/19/11-quick-lunches-to-bring-to-work/
Rodney Goodie, “How to Control Diabetes at Work,” St. Hope Foundation, Accessed January 2020. https://offeringhope.org/control-diabetes-work/
Noma Nazish, “Five Smart Ways to Eat Healthier at Work,” Forbes, Accessed January 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2019/02/28/five-smart-ways-to-eat-healthier-at-work/#29852c61465f
Susan M. Healthfield, “How to Encourage Healthy Food Choices at Work,” The Balance Careers, Accessed January 2020. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-encourage-healthy-food-choices-at-work-1917961
“Ten Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating at Work,” Personnel Today, Accessed January 2020. https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/ten-ways-to-encourage-healthy-eating-at-work/