Stay Away From the
Vending Machine

10 healthy snacks you can keep at your desk.

10 Healthy Snacks You Can Keep at Your Desk

We're all getting smarter at work these days, right? Better ergonomics in our cubicles and high-tech, multimedia video-conference meetings. But when it comes to snacks, so many of us are stuck in the past, choosing junk food that's filled with more sugar, salt and preservatives than we should probably be eating. And the result is that all-too-common afternoon slump or sugar crash. You don't need a nutritionist to tell you that choosing an apple is better for you and your well-being than a bag of Cheetos or a Snickers. But there's a reason why we keep mindlessly walking to the vending machines. It's easy. So here are ten solid snack choices that will easily keep in your desk drawer. So stock up—you'll eat better, feel better and won't cover your keyboard in orange dust.

The Good Bean Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

As crunchy and satisfying as popcorn or chips, but filled with protein and fiber guaranteed to tackle afternoon hunger pangs. You can easily make them at home and pack a few ziplock bags or just buy pre-made options, like these from The Bean Good. We're partial to the smoky chili and lime or the sweet cinnamon.

$3.55 by The Good Bean

Lindt Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

For an indulgent afternoon pick-me-up, grab some chocolate—the right kind, of course. Because there's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate. Opt for chocolate with 70 percent cacao or higher. An added benefit? It's chockfull of magnesium, which is a natural stress-reliever.

$2.79 by Lindt

Lindt Dark Chocolate
Harvest Snaps Snacks

Harvest Snaps Snacks

If your ideal afternoon snack is a pack of chips or Cheetos, then this is your healthier, grown-up alternative. Crunchy and seriously addicting, the baked crisps are made with either peas, lentils or black beans and come packed their powerful combination of nutrients. A handful or two fuels your body with B vitamins, calcium, iron and plenty of dietary fiber to keep you full. What's more, the bold flavors (mango chile lime, wasabi ranch and habanero) kick that Flamin' Hot Cheetos' ass.

$2.97 each by Harvest Snaps

Krave Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky
Vermont Smoke & Cure BBQ Beef Sticks
Krave Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky


When you know that you've got a while until dinner, something like jerky can really hold you over. It's flavorful and has plenty of health credit with gym-goers thanks to its big protein boost. Just make sure to look for options that aren't loaded with extra sodium. We like the minimally processed but extra tender Krave jerky, which comes in a wide range of flavors. Or the tasty and packable beef sticks from Vermont Smoke & Cure.

Sweet chipotle beef jerky, $7 by Krave
and BBQ beef sticks, $1.99 by Vermont Smoke & Cure

Vermont Smoke & Cure BBQ Beef Sticks

Raw Nuts and Seeds

An outstanding source of protein, fiber and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are easy to store and will keep in a desk drawer for some time. Not to mention, they don't smell up an office or distract coworkers with the crunch and crackle of a bag of potato chips. Our go-to choices are pumpkin and sunflower seeds, along with almonds and cashews. You can get prepackaged options, but some of the best values are to buy them in bulk at the grocery store.

$13.43 by Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Raw Nuts and Seeds
Quaker Select Starts Oatmeal Packets

Oatmeal Packets

It's not just for breakfast. Stash a few packets of instant oatmeal in your drawer for a hearty snack or an emergency lunch replacement. A packet or two, microwaved with water in a mug and then sprinkled with cinnamon and a little honey is a great afternoon snack when you want something warm and filling. Just be careful about which brands you buy, as the flavored options can be loaded with unnecessary sugar.

$2.99 by Quaker Select Starts

Santa Cruz Apple Sauce Cups

Apple Sauce

Would a whole apple be better for you? Sure. But when you want something sweet and satisfying, a few spoonfuls of unsweetened apple sauce (we like Santa Cruz's cinnamon apple cups) is the next best thing to having a slice of apple pie in the middle of the day—and a whole lot healthier for you.

$3.79 (for six cups) by Santa Cruz

Justin's Nut Butters

Nut Butters

Nut butters like peanut and almond are tasty, versatile desk snacks—perfect for pairing with an apple or banana you brought from home. You can spread it on a bagel or, in a pinch, just down a spoonful or two from the jar (no judgement). They even sell handy single-serve packs that, in our opinion, were made for squeezing directly into your mouth.

Honey peanut butter pack, 99¢ and maple almond butter, $1.19 by Justin's

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is as convenient and sweet as candy, but because it's high in fiber, it will keep you fuller longer with no sugar crash. Unlike traditional trail mix that is sometimes loaded with hidden added sweeteners or simply unhealthy ingredients, Karen's Naturals freeze-dried fruit is made with no additives. Their bite-size Fruit Munchies are like vitamin-rich Sour Patch Kids—sweet, tart and chewy.

$9.20 by Karen's Naturals

Karen's Naturals Dried Fruit
Oloves Packaged Olives


When you want something salty and satisfying, olives provide a toothsome bite along with a slew of nutritional benefits—calcium, manganese and vitamin E plus healthy monounsaturated fats. These clever single-serve packs of olives are infused with such fresh flavors like lemon and rosemary, chili and oregano or basil and garlic.

99¢ by Oloves

Biased Advice

Unless you're really trying to cut back, go ahead and have a piece of cake or grab a cookie when someone brings something to the office.