At your desk is the perfect place to store tons of snacks. Why? Well, for one, you’ve got lots of drawers to use. But also, when you’re prone to mid-morning and late afternoon hunger (as we all are), having healthy munchies nearby is extremely helpful. Because if you have a granola bar or apple within arm’s length, you can sate your belly without messing up your workflow—and you won’t need to resort to vending machine garbage that’ll leave you with a sugar crash.
The best kind of snacks to keep on hand are those that are high in protein. This kind of grub can tide you over between breakfast and lunch, can give you an energy boost when you’re really feeling that 3 P.M. slump, and can keep you full until it’s time for dinner. As for the specific snacks you should stock up on, registered dietitians have nine great recommendations. Most of them are shelf-stable, but a handful of them will need to be refrigerated—so make a little room for yourself in the office fridge. Now say goodbye to workday hunger and hello to hella productivity.
This high-protein snack is also high and fiber, and Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ, is a huge fan. “I like to keep dry-roasted edamame on hand because it’s an excellent protein source that is also easy to store.”
Both Lindsey Pine, M.S., R.D., owner of Tasty Balance Nutrition, and Gorin highly recommend KIND snacks. In particular, Pine is a fan of their Nuts & Spices Bars because they’re a little sweet, but still totally healthy. She says “some of them are even drizzled with dark chocolate!”
Gorin prefers their Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters, which provide 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving. “I can easily store this item at my desk, because it has a resealable top,” she adds.
“Pumpkin seeds are a tasty, crunchy snack that have about 8 grams of protein per ounce,” Gorin tells SELF. “I like eating them as is or using them as a topping on plain cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.”
Apples and nut butter packets
Not only is this snack a great one to keep at your desk, but it’s also perfect pre-workout grub. So if you’re headed from your office to the gym, you don’t need to make an extra stop to power up. Pine prefers to opt for the single serve packets of nut butter (rather than spooning out of a jar) because they’re better for monitoring portion control.
“Jerky isn’t just made out of beef anymore,” Pine tells SELF. In fact, she says that many brands now sell bison, pork, poultry, and even salmon jerky. As we know, meat is an excellent source of protein, and jerky is totally shelf stable. Basically, this is the perfect snack to keep at your desk.
This snack is one that will need to be refrigerated, but Gorin says if your office does have a fridge, it’s worth loading up on. “Cottage cheese is one of my favorite protein-rich foods to eat when I need an afternoon energy boost.” She likes Muuna 2-percent Plain Cottage Cheese because “it’s very creamy and the single-serve container provides 19 grams of protein.” SELF staffers also love Good Culture’s sweet and savory flavors.
Instant oatmeal packets
Pine recommends this snack with one minor caveat. “Many instant oatmeals contain loads of added sugar,” she explains. To avoid ending up with a sugar-packed brand, she recommends double checking that ingredients list before you buy.
If you have access to a fridge in your office, Gorin recommends stocking it with hard-boiled eggs as a single egg has about 6 grams of protein. She’ll either eat them plain, or slice them in half and sprinkle them with black pepper or paprika (two other ingredients you can totally keep at your desk).
“These are one of my favorite office foods to keep on hand,” Pine tells SELF, “Because they are a perfect crunchy snack that’s packed with protein and fiber.” Think of them as chips that will actually fill you up.