Snacking in the workplace is nothing new. The way we do it today, however, is much different. It might have been commonplace to bring a dozen donuts into a board meeting a few decades ago, but today, employees and employers are focusing on creating healthy, energy-boosting snacks that drive nutrition home.
Should You Allow Snacking, and If so, When?
Encouraging employees to enjoy a snack or two isn’t a bad thing unless it pulls them away from their tasks too often. The benefits far outweigh the risks. A study reported on by USA Today and conducted by Peapod found that while 56 percent of workers say they’re happy with their job, that number increases to 67 percent when they get access to free food.
What Snacking Options Are Best for the Office?
Many opportunities exist when choosing snacks to provide employees. Instead of empty calorie foods that’ll give them a short burst of energy and then create the desire to nap, employers should consider healthy options that boost energy and provide a solid source of nutrition. Here are some examples:
- Fruits and vegetables – These encourage healthy snacking with foods that can offer the crunch and sweetness workers want, but without the calories and fat.
- Nuts – All kinds of nuts provide a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Though you need to monitor for allergies in the office, nuts are otherwise convenient, affordable, accessible and something employees can snack on while at their desk.
- Protein and energy bars – These snacks may be a good option if they contain organic ingredients and, perhaps, even some superfoods. Be careful, as any bars full of sugar aren’t beneficial. However, a bar that’s full of chia seeds or even blueberries offers health benefits.
- Hard-boiled eggs – These are something you may not have thought about, but hard-boiled eggs offer protein and healthy fats that can give your team energy. They store easily and can be purchased ready-to-eat.
- Hummus spreads – Hummus makes any vegetable go down easily. If you have employees who may not be willing to try a lot of new veggies, add hummus to the mix. They will like the “dip” function of it, while still enjoying the energy-boosting protein it offers.
Alongside this, consider reducing or removing soft drinks and sugar-sweetened juices. Replace white breads in the office with whole grains. Use vending machines only stocked with healthy foods. Snacking like this encourages health and well-being, leading to ample energy and productivity.
Sandy Baker is a full-time freelance writer specializing in health, personal finance and internet marketing. Her long-term history online has included publications with companies including Marriott Hotels, The New York Times and dozens of other small and medium-sized businesses. She is also published in print with award-winning books such as The Complete Guide to Estate Planning, Complete Guide to Early Retirement, The Complete Bankruptcy Guide for Consumers and Small Businesses and The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care.