I spend a lot of time thinking about work snacks. In fact, I take great pride in curating a compelling collection of snacks and beverages at my desk. Crunchy, salty, sweet, and caffeinated. Some line their desks with photos; I line mine with snacks.
Speaking of work drinks, I also cultivate a collection of cups at my desk. My top shelf is lined with teas, coffee pods, and beverage receptacles not limited to a glass skull cup, mug decorated with photos of my godcats, and loose-leaf tea maker.
My days are rarely boring which means they are often stressful. Having good work snacks and drinks is not just self-care, it’s ESSENTIAL. I may not be able to walk away from uncomfortable phone calls, but I can walk away from my desk and make a hot cup of tea that pairs perfectly with one of my snacks.
The key to enjoying work snacks is the first rule of work snacks which is that it’s never too early to eat work snacks.
Here’s a list of my eight favorites that have sustained me through many wacky weeks:
- Doritos: Any flavor. Cheesy, spicy, or both? Take your pick. There’s literally a Dorito flavor for every mood.
- Old Dutch Cheesy Puffcorn: I’ve tried a lot of cheesy puff products and these are the best. For one thing, Old Dutch prints “$0.99” on the bags daring stores to sell them for more. These puffcorns are light, fluffy and never stale. Truly remarkable is the cheese powder. It’s richer and cheesier than the rest.
- Biscotti: These treats are the perfect desk snack because they’re not too sweet and pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Take a break with a warm drink and fancy cookie while the world burns for 15-minutes. A recipe that went over well with my coworkers is King Arthur Flour’s American-Style Vanilla Biscotti. I added some citrus zest and pine nuts.
- Spicy chips: For an endorphin rush, eat spicy chips at your desk and sweat. If I lived in St. Louis I would be eating Red Hot Riplets. But, alas, no one sells those here. I wander between skyway convenience stores searching for my new favorite spicy chip. Once I bought several types at United Noodles (a local Asian grocery store) and shared them with my coworkers.
- Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels: These little pretzel nuggets are a long-time staple. The thin layer of crisp, salty pretzel covers a small nugget of not-too-sweet peanut butter. If you are hungry AF these are your best friend. A fistful of these carby, protein-filled pouches will tide you over until lunch but will very easily spoil your lunch, too.
- Pistachios: Pistachios are probably of the least appropriate nut to eat at work. Eating them is messy and loud. If your desk neighbor is sensitive to noise, they might hate you. The shells snap as you pry them open and make a satisfying “Ping” when they hit the bottom of your metal trashcan. Pistachio debris flies everywhere. When work beckons you away from your desk, dust the pistachio dust off your sweater before moving along to whatever the heck you were supposed to do next.
- Gummy bears: Are road trip foods good work desk foods? I think so. Gummy bears are fun. They’re more fun than fruit snacks because they’re not trying to be healthy. They’re candy! But they’re not made out of chocolate so you feel like you might be eating healthier candy. You also need something sweet to break up all of the salt. Be careful about passing a bag of gummy bears around the office because you might get a couple back (if people are being Minnesota nice). Adults are always looking for an excuse to eat a gummy bear.
- Clementines: They’re tiny, easy to peel, and healthy. They fend off scurvy. Plus, fiber. You need it. We all do. Add a convenient pop of citrus into your day. Clementines are basically desk accessories. Like succulents, except that you can eat them.
This list continues to get fine-tuned. Once I ate Cheez-It’s for so many weeks in a row that I can no longer look at them, despite their worthiness to be on this list. Feel free to make an argument for your favorites.