We all know how important food is to keep you focussed and energetic in your daily work life, but it’s vital that you’re snacking on the right stuff to get you all the nutrients you need. Office life can make it difficult to give your body the energy it needs without avoiding high sugar, trans fat and processed foods, so here are some top tips to get ‘fresh’ snacking right.
‘Fresh’ snacking is a fast-emerging trend amongst consumers, which throws a spotlight on the growing demand for refrigerated consumer packaged goods (CPG), and fresh and whole food snacks for an on-the-go lifestyle. The growing market for freshly-made foods that are readily accessible means that it’s now easier than ever to make sure you get the protein and fibre you need to dump the afternoon slump. This is the perfect list to keep your snacks healthy, filling and tasty, keeping your blood sugar stable and energy high without the preservatives.
1) Protein Bars
Refrigerated protein bars, like consumer-favourite Perfect Bar, are one of the biggest and most available trends of ‘fresh’ snacking. These bars are packed full of whole food protein and superfoods, and are usually certified non-GMO. There’s also a flavour for everyone, so you can mix these up to find one that suits you. Non-refrigerated protein bars or packs are also in high demand, like LÄRABAR and Graze, and offer a great range of whole foods designed as part of a balanced diet for your wellness.
2) Crisp Alternatives
Chips and Dip may not seem like an obvious healthy option, but there are ways to get this tasty snack in without the guilt. Pita chips are a great low-calorie and fat alternative to normal crisps, and a source of vitamin E and B, as well as being quick and easy to make at home with your own flavoured spins. However, there are some drawbacks to pita chips, so you might want to consider DIY baked vegetable crisps (such as kale or carrots) as another great substitute for traditional crisps. Pair these with guacamole or hummus for a filling snack that’s fresh and full of protein.
3) Trail Mix
Trail mixes are a fantastic go-to snack packed full of protein, fibre and healthy unsaturated fats. These mixes can be DIY or store-bought, and due to the huge range of different mixes available, you can customise this treat to suit you - sweet or savoury! With blends of whole foods like nuts (unsalted and unsweetened are best here), dried fruit and seeds, trail mixes pack a punch of nutrients to keep you going.
For a sweet treat, why not thrown in some almonds, cashews, dried cherries or banana chips together with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sea salt - you can even add a few dark chocolate chips for a treat! Alternatively, add some home-roasted chickpeas to your savoury mix for an easy dose of protein.
4) Energy Balls
Energy balls (sometimes known as power balls or bliss balls) are a hugely popular plant-based trend, packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats, which act as a great alternative to sweet treats and are perfect as an on-the-go snack. There are hundreds of recipes online, while popular brands like Deliciously Ella are also available in shops. These power balls can include anything from chia seeds, to almonds and dates for a nibble that filled with energy.
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but many people struggle to keep fruit in their diet. Fresh fruit is available in pretty much all corner shops, supermarkets and coffee shops, and is one of the easiest ways to get quick and easy vitamins and minerals. Shop bought or homemade smoothies are another tasty and simple way to get your fruit fibre in - if you’re making your own, why not try whizzing some spinach and kale in for an added supplement of iron?
Dried fruit is also an easy snack filled with more antioxidants and folate per ounce than fresh fruit and are great added into trail mixes or oat pots. However, dried fruit also contains higher sugar levels, so make sure you’re not just overloading on these - there is too much of a good thing!
Yoghurt is a fantastic food for meals and snacks as it’s high in calcium and probiotics. It’s great for your bones, teeth and gut and can help prevent digestive problems as well as being a useful source of protein.
However, there are lots of types of yoghurt that are filled with processed flavours, added sugars and preservatives, so it’s important to make sure you choose the right option. Greek Yoghurt has a higher percentage of protein, and also has great low-fat options, particularly consumer favourite brands like Fage and Chobani. Whole Milk or Full Fat yoghurts also offer a great source of potassium and folic acid. Try to steer clear of flavoured yoghurts as these are high in sugar.
Oat pots and DIY overnight oats offer a great start to the day and keep you feeling full and energised for longer. These are fibre and wholegrain paradises, and you can easily customise with your own ingredients to add an added punch of health.
There are plenty of easy recipes online to make at home. Fruit, nuts, chia seeds and nut butter are fantastic additions to these oat pots to give added vitamins and protein. Make sure you’re using raw or unsweetened oats to keep out unnecessary processed sugars.
8) Nut Butter
Unsweetened nut butters, like almond and cashew, are fantastic additions to any snack and are a helpful boost of magnesium - integral to your muscle and nerve health. They’re also high in protein and healthy fats, but like anything else should be had in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Make sure to watch out for store-bought brands that include added salt or sugars, or alternatively why not try making your own butters in a blender? These butters are fantastic additions to breakfast foods like overnight oats or yoghurt, or can be a great afternoon boost spread on a healthy cracker.
While it may seem like taking on a healthier mindset to your workday snacks might take a lot of effort, if you plan ahead and take a few minutes in the evening to organise your next day, you will reap the rewards.
It’s important to remember that even healthy foods are best in moderation, particularly those high in natural sugars and salts, so make sure that you still maintain a balanced diet and don’t overindulge in any one snack. Use these ideas to explore and enjoy the benefits of healthy living, and find your signature snacks with hundreds of recipes online.