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Your workplace snack pantry

Posted by: Julie Meek
Tags: workplace , nutrition ,

It’s mid morning or mid afternoon and you’re looking for something – anything – to refuel your brain and your body.

Here at Healthier Workplace WA we know that when you need to refuel, things can take a wrong turn if you don’t have something healthy on hand to eat. The vending machine, deli snacks or fundraising chocolates start to look appealing when your stomach is grumbling and your brain is fading.

Although you’re at work, the concept of having a stocked cupboard or pantry – just like you do at home – is integral to a healthy diet and your productivity at work.

Before we even talk about what to have in your work cupboard, there are a couple of logistics to consider:

  • If your workplace is like many others, it will have a kitchen containing a refrigerator. The fridge can be great for short-term storage, but sometimes your planned snack can go walk-about. Make sure you label all items clearly so there is absolutely no confusion.
  • You will need some space in your desk or locker to store some longer life items. It might be best to find a spot that you don’t look at constantly to avoid temptation, like a drawer at your desk that you don’t use often.
  • Choose a day of the week that you will restock your work pantry. It’s a great feeling being organised and doing this will ensure that you are not left in the food wilderness without a healthy snack at any time.
  • If you walk, bus or ride to work and transporting your pantry items is difficult, consider doing a drop-off on your restocking day.

When considering how to stock your work pantry, it’s good to have a mixture of different foods to avoid boredom. You might even be able to do a swap with work colleagues! Some essential items include:

Cold storage:

  • 200g tubs of low fat yoghurt (avoid ones with high a sugar content)
  • Snack packs of cracker biscuits with individual portions of reduced fat cheese 
  • Crispy vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and snow peas
  • Soup (bought or homemade non-creamy varieties)
  • Crumpets, wholegrain bread or fruit bread

Pantry storage:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Fruit or cereal based muesli bar
  • Snack pack portions of dried fruit and/or unsalted nuts
  • Tub or tin of fruit
  • Low fat custard cups (long life)
  • Small tins of baked beans or salt reduced spaghetti
  • Low fat flavoured Tetra Paks of milk
  • 100g tins of tuna or salmon
  • Popcorn (plain, i.e. no salt no butter)
  • Wholegrain or wheat crackers 
  • Portion packs/disposable bowls of high fibre cereal
  • One portion soup (look for salt-reduced can or cup)

For more snack ideas, the Healthier Snacks resource is a great place to start. LiveLighter's wallet-sized nutrition label guide is particularly handy when you're on the hunt for healthy snacks at the supermarket.

Being organised and having your work pantry sorted, saves you time and money – plus it boosts your health and productivity and allows you to focus on the work at hand, not your hunger!

Until next time...

Julie :)

About Julie Meek

Accredited practising dietitian, performance specialist, speaker

View all posts by Julie Meek

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Healthier Workplace WA. For further information please see Healthier Workplace WA terms of use.

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