NDSU Extension - Benson County

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Healthy Snacks at Work

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Community Wellness

 

Healthy Snacks at Work

Food is the center of many gatherings and is oftentimes what brings people together.  Considering many of us spend a significant amount of time at work, it is important to think about what types of foods we consume there as well. 

While it is fine to give into the occasional sweet treat, we need to be mindful of what we are consuming and how we can avoid empty calories on a regular basis.  One great way to do this is to pack a few healthy snacks to eat in between meals at work. 

Here are a few healthy snack options for work:

  • Mini whole grain muffins
  • Popcorn (be aware of how much butter and salt is added)
  • Fresh fruit such as grapes, apples, oranges, or bananas
  • Low-fat string cheese
  • Fat-free yogurt
  • Hummus with whole-wheat pita bread
  • Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, or celery

If you do plan to bring healthy snacks with to work, be sure not to forget about food safety.  Perishable foods such as dip, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits need to be refrigerated.  They should spend no more than two hours at room temperature.  If you do happen to leave food out for longer than two hours, throw it away.  Nobody likes to be wasteful, but it is a much better option that getting food poisoning. 

If you are having a work gathering with perishable foods that will be sitting out for more than two hours, put them on ice to keep them cool for a longer period of time. 

Below is a recipe for banana oatmeal raisin cookies.  They are packed with nutritious ingredients from the fruit, grain, and dairy food groups.  Enjoy!

Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas (ripe)
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the margarine in a small saucepan. Melt it on low heat.  Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix really well.  Let the mix stand for about 5 minutes, until the oats are wet.  Lightly grease the cookie sheet.  For each cookie, spoon out about 1 tablespoon of dough and drop it onto the greased cookie sheet.  Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes.  Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 1 minute.  Move the cookies to wire racks or a towel. Let them cool completely.

 

Makes: 15 servings.  114 calories per serving, 5 grams of fat, 38 mg of sodium, 16 carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. 

 

Sources:

  • Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network
    Website Recipes
  • NDSU Extension Service, Eat Smart: Enjoy Healthier Snacks at Work, 2016
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