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10 quick and healthy snacks to stash at work

Keep these 10 snack options in your desk drawer or office fridge for quick, healthy alternatives to vending machine fare

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hot cocoa

Hot cocoa mix

Keep your own homemade cocoa mix in a desk drawer for a healthier solution to your mid-afternoon chocolate craving. Add equal parts unsweetened cocoa and sugar to a cup of warm skim milk, flavour with a pinch of cinnamon and enjoy a low-calorie alternative to a chocolate bar-while a bar of Hershey’s milk chocolate contains about 210 calories and 13 grams of fat, a cup of hot cocoa made with skim milk has about 160 calories and 2 grams of fat.

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Nature's path

Nature’s Path Vanilla Animal Cookies

Sure, these crunchy critters are made for kids, but they’re also a healthy snack choice for grown-ups at work: A serving of nine cookies has just 120 calories and 4 grams of fat. They’re also gluten and trans-fat free. Plus, the cute koala and panda shapes will remind you of kindergarten snack time-perfect for a midday pick-me-up!

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PC cottage cheese

President’s Choice Cottage Cheese Snacks

These little cottage-cheese cups from President’s Choice are ideal for storing in the office fridge or tossing in your briefcase for a busy day on the road. And with only 90 calories and 2 grams of fat each, these cups are a great healthy option when you’re in the mood for something creamy. Add a pinch of cinnamon and some raisins to create a mock rice pudding.

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Air-popped popcorn

It’s not just for the movies! Three cups of air-popped popcorn has just 92 calories and 1 gram of fat, making this a great way to satisfy your craving for crunch. Punch up the flavour by adding adding a teaspoon of Clubhouse White Cheddar popcorn seasoning (25 calories, 2 grams of fat) or cut the calories even further by topping it with balsamic vinegar or just a sprinkling of flavoured salt.

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LÄRABAR food bars

These are a favourite snack around the Best Health office-web editor Kat Tancock is always munching on the Peanut Butter Cookie flavour. That’s because these whole-food snack bars don’t contain any chemicals, preservatives or supplements. In fact, the new Peanut Butter and Jelly flavour contains only four ingredients: dates, peanuts, cherries and salt.

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English muffin

English muffin with low-sugar jam

A light, fluffy English muffin packs fewer calories than a denser, heavier bagel. Skip the butter when you’re adding jam anyway. Calorie count: about 182 calories and 1 gram of fat.

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If you absolutely can not get past your potato-chip craving (and on a bad day, that’s understandable), reach for a bag of these healthier chips. Popchips are new in Canada and offer seven trans-fat- and cholesterol-free flavours. One serving (22 chips) of the original flavour contains 120 calories, 280 mg of sodium and 4 grams of fat-not bad compared to a regular variety of fried chips.

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Homemade low-fat granola

This healthy granola is the perfect way to satisfy the mid-morning munchies-eat it alone or sprinkled on top of low-fat yogurt. Click here for the recipe.

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low-fat granola

Homemade low-fat granola

This healthy granola is the perfect way to satisfy the mid-morning munchies-eat it alone or sprinkled on top of low-fat yogurt. Click here for the recipe.

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chocolate cookies

Chocolate-nut meringue cookies

Here’s an astounding achievement: chocolate-nut cookies with less than one gram of fat each! These chocolate-nut meringue cookies contain no butter or margarine and no egg yolks, yet they’re tender and rich tasting. Pull out a tin full of these goodies at work and you’ll be the office hero. Click here for the recipe.

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Trail mix

You can’t go wrong with homemade trail mix-prepare your own custom blend of nuts, seeds and dried fruit for a portable and healthy snack option. Best Health Blog reader Terry had this suggestion for a pre-workout trail mix: “Prepare a mixture of pine nuts, almonds, walnuts and raisins plus some slices of carrots, celery and orange.” Or, try our Walnut Trail Mix recipe for a heart-healthy snack packed with omega-3 and other nutrients.

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