Healthy, Delicious, and Energy-Boosting Snacks To Bring Into the Office
When you read about what the companies that employ the “happiest workforces in America” do to earn such recognition, you may think (and rightfully so), “We can’t afford that.” Featured companies boast about in-house masseuses, on-site gyms, arcade rooms, and indoor basketball courts. These perks are good for those companies and their employees, but what about the small guys? Must the little companies go bankrupt to compete for the loyalty of their workers? The good news is, no.
Studies suggest that there are much more realistic and budget-friendly ways to boost employee satisfaction while increasing engagement, productivity, and overall health and well-being. One such method is simply to bring snacks into the office.
According to research, employers who provide free snacking options signal to their teams that they are cared for and appreciated, feelings that contribute to increased engagement. For this reason — and the host of health benefits certain snacks provide — healthy snacks have been dubbed “the key to workplace happiness.”
The Snacks You Bring Matter
According to Harvard Business Review, you don’t want to show up to the sales meeting with just any old snack. The foods your employees eat can have a direct impact on their performance and energy levels. So, what foods can have the greatest positive impact? Read on for the top six.
Before you, like so many others, write off jerky as an indulgence, read the labels. A lot of the jerky out there is actually incredibly healthy, containing substantial amounts of protein (which staves off hunger for longer) and little sugar. Many of the higher-end varieties also forego preservatives, fillers, and artificial additives.
Employees who abstain from meat don’t have to forego their protein fix. Yogurt is high in protein and a host of other nutrients, including vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Yogurt also contains probiotics, which aid in digestion.
3. Cheese and Crackers
Like jerky, this combination is often viewed as an indulgence, but there’s a reason so many hosts lay out cheese and cracker platters. Due to the protein in cheese, the combination is filling. Cheese also contains high amounts of calcium and vitamin D, which counterbalances the high fat and caloric content.
Crackers serve as a great way to stave off cravings during the workday. Though they’re much healthier than fried foods, it’s important to remember that whole grain options with little to no saturated fats are better than their processed counterparts.
4. Protein, Nut, and Fruit Bars
Granola bars of your childhood have undergone a revolution in recent years. Today’s bars are jam packed with healthy, energy boosting, hunger-placating, delicious-tasting ingredients. Due to the dozens of options available, which range from nut to fruit to protein packed, there’s a bar for every one of your employees and their unique preferences. Stick a few of each in the snack drawer to really earn the esteem of your team.
5. Dark Chocolate
If the beefed-up granola bars don’t say, “I appreciate you,” bars of dark chocolate in the break room will. Dark chocolate provides a wealth of health benefits, including increased cognition, decreased cholesterol, improved heart health, and reduced risk for cancer. It’s also a powerful source of antioxidants and flavanols, the latter of which protect against sun damage.
6. Fruits and Nuts
Whole and dried fruits are tasty, portable, and affordable to buy in bulk. Stock the break room with a variety of both to pump your team full of often under-consumed nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and folate. Pair the fruit with almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, and other nut varieties to ensure your employees get the fiber, protein, and healthy fats they need to maintain healthy levels and remain alert on the job.
Someone once said that food is the way to a man’s heart. What that person meant was that food is the way to any human’s heart, especially hard-working individuals who just want to feel respected and appreciated for all they do. If you want to show your team members you care, ditch your plans for an indoor rope course and bring in a fruit basket instead. Your team will be healthier and happier for it.