the-dos-and-donts-of-packing-snacks

Snacking is kind of a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing. Some people swear by snacks, some people think snacking is only for toddlers (or people who act like toddlers), and some people could give two shits what you call it as long as it involves food.

It’s no secret that I’m a snacker. It works for me, and I like knowing that I don’t have to wait six hours to eat again. Six hours is a long time. It’s like almost as long as you have to be at work, which is sort of ridiculous. Both that you have to be at work that long and that you don’t eat for that long.

So, when you don’t want to wait six hours to eat but you also have to be at work longer than six hours, packing snacks is kind of a must.

Instead of lovingly suggesting what kind of snacks you might wanna eat, today, I am going through some dos and don’ts of packing snacks. Some might seem obvious, some might be brand-new information, and some you could give two shits about as long as it involves food.

All right, friend, enough of my silly repetition that I think makes my writing seem thought out and organized…on to the dos! And the don’ts!

The Dos

Know Your Snacking Style

The first rule of packing snacks (I promise this whole post won’t be in the style of Fight Club, although that is tempting, now that you mention it…) is to know your snacking style.

Know you’ve got a tendency to hit the candy dish a little too hard when you’ve just come out of a meeting wherein you kinda sorta feel like you got ambushed?

Or maybe you’re like me — if you know it’s there, you’re like a kid on Christmas and just can’t freakin’ wait to dive in.

Whether you’re an emotional eater or you’re a master at eating only when you’re hungry, know thyself, grasshopper. And prepare accordingly.

Bring Snacks

Hear me out, hear me out!

Yes, this bringing snacks when we’re talking about packing snacks tip might seem obvious. But I bet you’ve been in one of these situations before:

  • You don’t pack any snacks for the day, thinking you’ll have a moment to step out mid-morning to grab a quick bite before you head in to your lunch meeting. Except…you’re at work and a shit storm goes down right as you’re headed out the door and no snack shopping for you lest your carefully plotted lunch meeting completely bombs.
  • You don’t pack any snacks for the day, thinking you won’t be hungry. Except…your body is a funny little thing and you can’t really predict when it’s going to be hungry. (I mean, yes, when you haven’t eaten for 13 days, you will be hungry and you know you’ll be hungry.) So you troll the break room or you window shop the vending machines or you have an extra big lunch that practically tucks you in to your afternoon snooze fest.

It’s seriously best to be prepared because you never really know what’s going to go down once you step inside the office. Seriously.

Keep It Clean

Go ahead. Get your dirty jokes out of the way now. I’ll wait…you done?

You know I’m a big proponent of eating clean in your cubicle so, of course, I’m going to suggest you keep your snacks clean. Obvs. That means ixnay on the drive-through donuts, the frappa-latte-cino, and that bucket of candy you confiscated from the neighbor’s kids after Halloween.

Need some guidelines? Aim for something between 150 and 300 calories, something that’s packed with nutrients, something that has a combo of protein, carbs, fiber, and fat, and something that’s not all sugar and salt.

Remember What Your Day’s All About

Maybe you’ve got a meeting across town and will be spending half the day just driving. That snack pack of veggies and dip don’t make for a good passenger. Oh, and you’ve got some dressing on your shirt…

Maybe you’re going to be in a training session or at a conference all day with allotted bathroom breaks and lunch times. Probably not the best day to plan some avocado toast.

Or maybe your calendar is clear and you’ve got time to play Top Chef in the kitchen. I hope you packed your knives….

All the planning and prepping won’t do you much good if it’s not practical so make sure what you’re planning actually fits in to your day. 

The Don’ts

Bring a Whole Bag

This goes without saying, right? Right?!?

I used to see people toting in whole bags of chips and boxes of popcorn and family-sized bags of candy bars. I don’t need to tell you how that ends.

Sure, portioning out some snacks ahead of time might be an extra step. But would you rather spend five minutes prepping some snacks than an hour or two feeling shitty after plowing through an entire bag of cheesy crackers? The peanut-butter-in-the-middle kind?

Get yourself some reusable sandwich bags and pack an actual snack-sized portion instead of that whole bag.

Keep Them in Sight

I am the queen of eating what I see. There’s a bag of sweet, sweet barbecue chips meant as an accompaniment to a sandwich for dinner? There’s a bag of sweet, sweet chocolate chips destined to be a fold in to some banana muffins? What’s that you have there…a whole bag of cheese sticks?!?

Same?

Keep your snacks out of sight. Especially handy if you like to snack when bored or stressed, two things very, very common at work. 

Store them in those drawers. Relegate them to the fridge. Keep that lunch bag zipped up and shoved in the furthest corner of your cubicle. 

It’s a lot harder to resist something if it’s staring you in the face all day. 

Think a Snack Has to Be a “Snack”

We’re very conditioned to think that a snack is something special. Like those pink-frosted animal crackers or something with sprinkles or everything dipped in chocolate. Or that a snack comes in a bag or a box or from your coworker’s lunch bag.

Think outside the snacking box, my friend.

If you’re the type that eats six mini meals a day, your snack could be a smaller serving of your breakfast or lunch. It could be a sandwich. Or toast. Or a smoothie. Or overnight oats.

You do not have to get your snacks out of a certain aisle in the grocery store. A snack can be whatever you want it to be. As long as it’s not bigger than your actual mean because then I think you’re completely redefining snack…

Overthink It

Doing a little piggybacking off of thinking a snack has to be a snack, don’t make snacks complicated. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate snack platter with three different kinds of nut cheeses, four complementary crackers, a whole bunch of grapes, seven strategically placed strawberries, and, oh, don’t forget the carefully drizzled sauce, of course.

It can be something you’ve made yourself or that you’ve grabbed at the store. (Yes , Dorothy, healthy store-bought snacks do exist.)

When you start thinking your snacks have to be elaborate or fancy or picture perfect, you’re crossing the line and putting yourself at risk of snack fatigue (a totally new term I just came up with that I’m going to here forthwith define as follows: Being too tired to make and/or prepare snacks so you’re not a hangry ass hat because you believe a snack should have at least three layers, one of which should be homemade coconut yogurt.).

When in doubt, keep it simple. I’m pretty sure this is someone’s motto. And it should be yours, too. That apple’ll do just fine, friend.

Pack Something Just Because Someone Else Packs It

Gosh, there’s lots of comparison in the don’ts of Snack Land, huh? 

Just because the person you share your office with who you refuse to acknowledge as a coworker because they can’t seem to ever spell your name correctly in an email or pronounce it anywhere near accurately packs two hardboiled eggs and a turkey rollup for a snack does not mean you have to.

Just because everyone on social media is making snack balls doesn’t mean that you have to. (Although those things are a pretty solid snack, just sayin’.)

And just because #toasttuesday is the cool thing to do (guilty) does not mean you have to hop on the bandwagon and stake a claim on the toaster.

Maybe your snack is a little unconventional. Maybe it’s fancy-free. Maybe you’re a strong, confident woman and you just like what you like, dammit. Pack that.

Do you have any hard and fast snack packing rules? Do they involve Snack Packs? I wanna hear all about it!