Haugen: It’s not always easy to grab a bite to eat during the workday.
Published 9:45 am Sunday, June 29, 2014
Between meetings, conference calls and deadlines, the daily grind can make “desktop dining” a viable option. A Desktop Dining Survey in 2011 found that 83 percent of office workers eat meals and snacks at their desks. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy items you can stash in your desk for those crazy days.
Try any of these Top 10 Tips for Desktop Dining and you’ll find you can power through even the busiest day.
1. Stash it — Microwaveable bowls of vegetable or bean soups, individual cans of fruit, pouches of tuna, small packs of peanut or almond butter are easy to store in your desk drawer for days when time gets away from you.
2. Breakfast anytime — A packet of lower sugar or plain oatmeal mixed with dried fruit is a great way to start your morning or for an afternoon “pick me up.” Also look for individual cups of dry cereal and bring a carton of milk or yogurt from home to mix in.
3. Protein — Single serve pouches of tuna, individual cups of hummus, a small bag of nuts, or individually wrapped servings of cheese are good protein boosts for lunch or a snack.
4. Keep hydrated — Don’t forget to drink throughout the day. Dehydration can affect your mood and mental clarity. Keep a refillable water bottle at your desk and fill it a few times a day.
5. Single handed — when you know you have a busy day ahead it helps to pack food that will be easy to eat at your desk. Sandwich wraps, cut-up veggies, canned fruit and string cheese are easy things to pack and eat while you work.
6. Office “Eatiquette” — Keep your office mates in mind. If you are eating something that is crunchy, gives off a strong smell or requires a lot of preparation, see if you can find an empty conference room to eat in while you get some work done. Always throw the container away in the break room trash or wash it out thoroughly when you are done.
7. Think bento! — Bento boxes have very popular as they make it easy to pack a healthy lunch. You pack individual portions of food in each compartment so nothing gets soggy or mixed together. Many also come with utensils and an insulated bag to keep food in and many are microwaveable.
8. China anyone? — Eating at your desk can be a drag, but if you have real dishes and silverware it helps make your meal a little more enjoyable and keeps your portions in check. Just wash up as soon as you are finished.
9. Keep it cold — or hot! — Bringing lunch from home can really help save time and money, but it’s important to keep it safe. If you don’t have an office refrigerator, pack an insulated bag with an ice pack or frozen water bottle to keep your food cold. Use a thermal bottle for anything you want to keep hot.
10. Stay clean! — Wash your hands and wipe down your desk and keyboard before and after you eat.
Tips adapted from the Oldways Nutrition Exchange and Starkist.