Good things come in small packages.

Good things come in small packages.

It’s enough to make you want to…eat something. Phones are ringing. Fax machines are grinding out pulp. A devilishly red blinking light on the copy machine clamors for toner. Quick! Feed it a tube of messy powder before its innards reach critical mass. No matter what kind of work you do, from clerical to construction, there’s barely time for a coffee break, let alone an hour-long lunch. On days like that, ignore the disembodied ghoul that keeps nagging, “You’ve got mail” or “Page headquarters, please.” Instead, think: snack.


Consider the Worst-Case Scenario


Most agree a time out during the workday is important for sustaining mind, body and soul. Health manuals galore pound upon the importance of occasional breaks in the daily routine of work, work and more work. However, their vague guarantees of stress relief too often demand corporeal machinations such as deep breathing, knee bends and stretching.


Don’t despair; relief also can be had with a nutritional approach. Take a moment for a satisfying snack. Pass up snacks that are drippy, crumbly or gooey. Steer clear of stain makers such as blueberries bedded in a lethal puddle of purple juice. A snack can provide a happy time out?unless you choose one that winds up dripping into the keyboard of your computer or into the machinery you operate for a living.


It’s not difficult to maximize satisfaction and minimize spillage. The best snacks to bring to work are those that taste great and are easy to manage. You might want to look for snacks that come in aluminum tins. A tin container can be restocked from time to time and will keep snacks fresh for a long time. Consider some praslines, shortbread cookies or biscotti that come in tins; some are available in attractive containers resembling an old-fashioned button box. Make a space in the corner of your desk and count on no muss, no fuss?and no leftovers.

Another sweet treat is almond nougat. It is a light, airy confection that is easy to handle and offers a delicious pick-me-up without the stickiness or crumble of other nutty delights. In fact, almond nougat bars traditionally are wrapped in rice paper, an edible paper that keeps your hands clean while your mouth is busy.


Almonds have no cholesterol and are low in sodium. The nuts are nearly 50 percent fiber and are high in valuable magnesium, calcium and manganese. In addition, almonds come in many styles?blanched, dry roasted, oil roasted and honey roasted. Peanuts and mixed nuts also may satisfy a craving or two.


Do you like yogurt? Varieties with snap-on lids are convenient and provide fairly solid security when carried in purse, backpack or briefcase. But for extra mileage and nutrition, why not open the cup at home and submerge into the creamy contents some slivered carrot sticks, apple slices or thin-cut pieces of celery? Just snap on the lid and you’re ready to go with two?or three?snacks in one. Other tasty and nutritious things to add at home are raisins, mandarin orange segments and dried cranberries.


Select Foods that are Self-Contained


Other carefree items considered among the best snacks to bring to work are those that are individually packaged or otherwise self contained. Sandwich cookies, peanut butter crackers, cups of microwaveable soup, vacuum-packed servings of pepperoni and cheese, plastic-wrapped rods of beef jerky and some fruits make good candidates for snackhood.


A banana is a beautiful thing?the healthy repository of some outstanding nutritional components such as ample amounts of potassium and Vitamin C. Banana plants grow from 10 to 26-feet tall and belong to the same family as do orchids and lilies. It’s almost like eating an exotic flower, one with only a hundred calories.


Grapes are another choice for easy portability. Seedless grapes are the easiest to deal with for no paring knife is needed for removal of the seeds. Green seedless or red seedless grapes can be a quick treat. Wash them and removed them from their stems before you leave home. Pop a dozen or more in a plastic snack bag with a leak proof zip-seal and you’re on your way to a refreshing break at mid-day or anytime. A grape has 3 calories and is loaded with antioxidants. And grapes don’t drip into your keyboard.