7 Diet-Friendly Pre-Packaged Snacks for Your Desk Drawer
Written by: Melissa Fiorenza
There are a lot of snack lists out there that involve just a liiiiiittle bit too much effort at times. As easy it sounds to slice up a few fresh bell peppers and whip up a two-ingredient veggie dip, mornings can be madness for some people—before you know it, you’re driving to work and realize you forgot your tightly-sealed to-go container on the kitchen counter. Sometimes, you just need a good, processed, pre-packaged snack that you can throw in your bag, stash in a drawer, and pop open when hunger hits.
Here’s a list of choices that aren’t exactly as nutritious as homemade baked kale chips, but they won’t derail your diet either.
1. Birthday Cake Quest Bar
Forget everything you feel about the taste of protein bars. Somehow, Quest Nutrition’s Quest Bars get it right: a magical pairing of something that’s nutritious and delicious, and while all their flavors are pretty darn good, the Birthday Cake bar is one of their most popular for excellent reason. It’s basically dessert, but with 1 gram of sugar and 21 grams of protein. Ch-ching.
2. Pretzel Crisps Honey Mustard & Onion
Crunchy, tangy, sweet, check, check, check. For one serving of 10 of these Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzel Crisps, you’re taking in 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. That’s way better than tortilla chips (140 calories, 7 grams of fat) and regular ol’ potato chips (150 calories, 10 grams of fat), and they’re honestly filling. Pro tip: If you’re a stickler for serving size but you’ve got a few broken pieces in the bag, just use a food scale. Ten crackers = 28 grams.
3. Kettle Brand Tropical Salsa Chips
Cooked in 100% avocado oil and made with mango infused salt, tomato powder, jalapeno powder, and bell pepper powder, these tropical salsa chips pack a lot of punch for 6 grams of fat and 130 calories. Plus, you kind of feel like you’re at a luau or a pool party and not really at your cubicle.
4. Jolly Time White Cheddar Popcorn
Have you ever shopped at the Weight Watchers store online, or know someone with a login? Their selection of points-friendly snacks is amazing, and this pick is the best: single serving bags of white cheddar popcorn. For those counting, it’s just 2 points (which is HUGE), and one bag is 80 calories, 0 trans fat. A box comes with six bags, but order a few—you’ll get addicted.
5. KIND Fruit Bites
No added sugars, fruit juices, preservatives, or concentrates, these cute little guys are perfect for that afternoon slump when you just need a little something to get your energy back up. Pick up the strawberry cherry apple flavor (1 strawberry, 2 cherries, ¾ apple) for a 60-calorie, 0 gram fat snack that comes with a full serving of fruit.
6. Plain Oatmeal Packets
You know those boxes of Quaker Instant Oatmeal in the breakfast aisle? Pick up the Original flavor. In 90 seconds, those single-serving packets mixed with water and heated up in the microwave turn into a heart healthy 100% whole grain snack with calcium, iron, and 6 other essential vitamins and minerals. Original too boring for you? Stash some fruit in the kitchen at work. When you top oatmeal off with a few blueberries or raspberries, it changes everything.
7. Blue Diamond Almonds Artisan Nut Thins
Don’t think that gluten free and wheat free mean flavor free—couldn’t be further from the truth. Their Chia Seeds Nut Thins, for 13 crackers, are 130 calories and just 1 gram of sugar. Made from, obviously, chia seeds along with brice rice and almonds, they’re a nice change-up from your typical chips and totally filling come snack time. Pair ‘em with a large glass of water and you’ll be good until dinnertime.