It’s the final day of Nutrition Month. Dietitians of Canada’s theme has resonated for many on eating well at work ‘Eating 9 to 5!’ At the end of a busy workday, food decisions may be more impulsive; individuals may be more susceptible to environmental food cues such as vending machine or coffee shop transit treats. Here are some strategies to usher you and your munchies home!
1. Long commute? Before you head home, grab a drink to wet your whistle.
Staying hydrated helps us feel refreshed and fight fatigue. Here are a few super sips to pack ahead or pick up while waiting for transit:
- Water. Plain or fizzy, it’s Mother Nature’s elixir! Bring a reusable bottle to work daily and refill it with fresh water before you leave.
- Latte. Frothy and filled with nutrient-rich, hydrating milk. Go plain and low fat, without sugary syrups or whipped cream. Try decaf to cut the caffeine.
- Tea. Ask for green, black or herbal tea. Skip the sugar; enjoy the taste of the tea itself.
2. Avoid pre-dinner munchies. Pack healthy snacks for the commute home.
Need a snack to enjoy on the commute home so you don’t eat your way through dinner preparation? Here are five portable, flavourful snacks that will last in your lunch bag until the end of your workday:
- Fruit and veggies – an apple, a pear, a small bunch of grapes or cherry tomatoes
- Small portions of trail mix with whole grain cereal, dried fruit, nuts and seeds
- Homemade whole grain muffins
- Spicy roasted chickpeas mixed with popcorn
- Plain, high-fibre, lower-sugar cereal, granola or nut bars
3. Snack time! Dietitians reveal what’s in their drawers.
A dietitian’s snacking motto is like a Girl Guide: be prepared. Check out what dietitians keep at work to snack better.
- Pre-portioned packs of almonds, pistachios or pumpkin seeds
- Small containers of whole grain cereal
- Homemade whole grain granola bars or muffins
- Whole grain crackers
- Snack-size cans of light tuna
- Green, black and herbal tea bags
- Real utensils and hand sanitizer
- Water bottle
Lunchroom Fridge Drawer:
- Veggies and fruit
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Black bean dip, lentil dip and hummus
- Milk for drinking and stirring into coffee, tea or cereal
4. Craving a snack for the commute? If you’re in a pinch, reach for better vending machine choices.
If the vending machine is your only choice when hunger hits, here are 10 snacks to reach for:
1. Fresh fruit
2. Cheese and crackers
3. Veggie-and-dip packs
4. Whole grain granola or cereal bars
5. Seed or nut bars
6. Plain popcorn
7. Nuts, seeds and trail mix
8. Unsalted pretzels
9. Tuna-and-crackers kits
Don’t forget about healthy vending machine drinks, such as water, milk and low-sodium 100% vegetable juice. If your workplace doesn’t have healthy choices, ask them to make some changes so you can have the choice to eat well at work all year long!
Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2015.ca.