The 3 Elements of a Perfect Afternoon Snack

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

The 3 p.m. stomach rumble is something we’ve all experienced, but there’s a way to take control of it. Keeping a few items on hand in your desk drawer ensures that you’ll be able to fight it as soon as it hits, without resorting to lingering stale muffins in the break room or hitting the vending machine.

Here are three keys for wholesome snacktime success.

Shelf-Stable, Single-Serve, and Nutritious: The Keys to Mastering the Midday Snack

The typical afternoon snack craving usually hits quickly and fiercely, but amid the craziness of the day, you rarely have time to go poking around for a well-balanced snack.

  • By stocking your desk with items that are shelf-stable, single-serve, and nutritious, you can rest easy knowing that something good is always at an arm’s reach.
  • No refrigeration required means you can fill up your drawer at the beginning of the month and never be concerned that your snack supply will spoil.
  • Single-serve options allow you to grab just one without having to divvy it up or worry you’ll eat the whole bag. Keeping these items nutritious means you’ll be satisfied until dinnertime.

Here are 3 of our favorite snacks that fit these criteria.

(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

1. Learn to love sardines.

Sardines? Is this really our first tip? Oh yes — hear me out. Canned fish is rich in protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and sardines deserve more love than they receive. Stash a few cans, either oil-packed or water-packed, in your drawer and reach for them when you’re craving something salty and satisfying.

Simply smash a few on crackers, along with a little mustard if you have it around, and you’ll be set until dinner. If you’re really hungry, eat it with an avocado half.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

2. Squirrel away nut butter packets.

The invention of nut butter squeeze pouches was a brilliant one. Tuck a handful in your desk and your snack possibilities are nearly endless. Serve it with apple slices or a banana, spread some onto a rice cake, or squeeze it onto pretzels.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

3. Expand your dried fruit horizon.

Get to know the aisle of dried fruit at your grocery store and you’ll be happy you did. Beyond those little boxes of raisins, there’s a whole world of sticky dried fruit that will kick any sweet craving you might have and give you a little fiber boost. Try dried apricots, figs, peaches, and mango to start.

Do you have any snacks that also meet these criteria and stand out as desk drawer heroes?

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