If you're someone who works from morning until evening, you know how important it is to have food on hand to keep you going throughout the day. However, not all of us have a place to store our food, so it's good to know what snacks to bring to work that don't require refrigeration. Luckily, there are plenty of non-perishable foods that can keep you nourished and satiated throughout the day.
"It is so important to bring snacks to work for that afternoon slump," says Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN over email. "It is important to eat every three to four hours throughout the day to keep your energy and metabolism up, blood sugar stable, and to prevent you from overeating later on. Keeping these healthy snacks on hand keeps you focused, more productive, and feeling great throughout the day."
Certain foods can help improve your energy levels, memory, and focus, so it's best to load up on those foods to help you perform your best at work. Although not every food can be stashed in your bag, you can prepare snacks ahead of time that can be left in your purse or at your desk throughout the day.
If you are wondering what healthy foods to bring to work that won't go bad, try these seven healthy snacks that don't require refrigeration.
1. Apples With Nut Butter
Fiber-filled apples are easy to lug around, and you can either pre cut the apple and spread on some peanut butter or almond butter, or buy some single serve nut butter packets to keep at your desk. "Nut butters are filled with healthy monounsaturated fats to help with cholesterol levels and protein," says Schapiro.
Whether you pop it home or buy a prepackaged, single-serving bag, popcorn is an easy portable and healthy snack. "Buy the all natural kind and avoid those with butter and salt," says Schapiro. "Popcorn is filled with fiber and antioxidants like polyphenols."
3. Roasted Chickpeas
"Roasted chickpeas are filled with fiber and protein, plus zinc and folate, which packs a nutritional punch to pick you up in the middle of the day," says Schapiro. You can make your own or buy them pre-made at a health food store, and they can be seasoned with a number of spices, including paprika, cayenne pepper, or even cinnamon.
"Nuts are satisfying and filling, and they are filled with vitamins such as E, iron, zinc, vitamin B6," says Schapiro. Bring a handful of pistachios, almonds, or walnuts to work, and switch up what you eat each day for varied nutrients.
5. Canned Soup
"You can bring in a can or box of low-sodium vegetable soup," says Schapiro. "On a cold day, this can be a great addition to your afternoon." Look for options that don't have additives and that include healthy choices such as lentils or brown rice.
6. Oatmeal Or Cereal
"Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these two options will also keep you feeling full until lunch or your next meal," says Kacie Vavrek, MS, RD, CSSD, LD at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "These options can be stored anywhere and will not spoil quickly." Look for high fiber dry cereal or low sugar instant-oatmeal for the healthiest options.
7. Tuna And Crackers
"Look for a cracker with at least two to three grams of fiber per serving," says Vavrek. Pair it with a small can or pouch of tuna for added protein. Just be careful if you have a lot of coworkers around you — you don't want to scare them off with the smell!
The best snacks to have contain a mix of protein and fiber, which work to keep you energized throughout the day.