Let’s face it: Hunger doesn’t always obey a three-meal-a-day regime, and often rears its ravenous head at the most inopportune times, like moments after your shift starts or just before a job interview begins. You might be tempted to reach for a high-sugar, high-fat snack, but these pick-me-ups zap energy and challenge concentration after their initial rush—in other words, they’re long-term let-me-downs.

What you need are Super Snacks!

Having the right snacks available to you during the work day gives you easy access to increased power and productivity. We’re big on snacking at Masiello Employment, and we’ve rounded up our Top 9 Super Snacks for Work (and weekends, too, for that matter). 

Protein Bar: While some are glorified candy bars loaded with artificial ingredients and high in calories, there are many that qualify as actual health food—look for a bar with a short ingredient list (with primarily nuts or nut butters and dried fruits), a good amount of protein and fiber, not a lot of sugar, and no more than 200 calories. 

Trail Mix: A blend of chewy dried fruit (rich in potassium and fiber) along with the protein of nuts and the sweet pleasure of chocolate is an irresistible combination—just make sure you limit yourself to a small (read: healthy) serving size. 

Fruit: Whether you prefer the crunch and tart-sweetness of an apple or the creamy goodness of a banana, snacking on fresh fruit is a low-maintenance way to get your fill of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins—if possible, choose organic fruit and try to buy what’s as local as possible; also, add a tablespoon of a nut butter for some protein.

Popcorn: Put away that bag of microwave popcorn and either air-pop your own at home (bringing it to work in a snack-size bag) or purchase a number of single-serving, 100-calorie snack bags of low-fat popcorn—it’s a filling treat the satisfies the need for crunch and salt.

Raw Almonds: Sure, you might grab for the roasted and salted variety out of habit, but a small serving of raw almonds serves up natural crunch and flavor—they also have the highest amount of healthy fats and fiber of any nut, along with a satisfying amount of protein. 

Dry Cereal: Milk-free cereal offers incredible crunch and texture as well as fiber—ignore your inner child and pick a whole-grain variety without added sweeteners and with added vitamins, if possible . . . and be sure to limit your serving to around ½-cup, depending on the calories.

Tuna: Opening a can of water-packed tuna is a quick way to get a healthy dose of essential omega-3 fatty acids and protein, with very few calories—just don’t be tempted to mix with spoonfuls of mayonnaise (try it plain with pepper and herbs, and add a bit of Greek yogurt if you’ve gotta have a creamy consistency).

Instant Oatmeal: This stick-to-your-ribs food is a wonderfully warm snack that’s high in fiber (and high in comfort!); choose the instant variety that comes in packs and can be made quickly by mixing with boiling water in a bowl—just be sure to pick the plain variety and flavor it with a snack-size box of raisins.

Dark Chocolate: When a sweet craving hits, go to the dark side with a few squares of antioxidant-rich chocolate with that has a cocoa percentage around 70—go too far below 70, and the sugar content is too high, go too far above and you might find it to be too bitter.  

Masiello Employment’s Top 9 Super Snacks for Work are dependably satisfying while also easy, fast, and affordable. We hope they help you avoid the vending machine guilt!