Raise your hand if the office vending machine starts sounding pretty good once you hit that afternoon energy slump? Despite mostly decent eating habits, I’ll admit too sometimes end up with a bag of chips in one hand and a bag of M&M’s in the other hand (I’m not kidding—it’s that sweet and salty thing). But, it’s occasionally OK to splurge, so I’m not too hard on myself about it. More often than not, I raid my own office snack drawer. Since its circa-2005 establishment in my newsroom desk at The Austin American-Statesman newspaper, my snack drawer has evolved from a couple of granola bars and chocolates to a veritable mini-bar, sans the booze and other beverages. While I can’t yet say it’s the ultimate in healthy snacktasticness, it is getting pretty close to the ideal office snack drawer.




Elements of (snacking) style

Over the years, the granola bars and chocolates remain a snack drawer staple. Granola bars are especially handy when I don’t get around to breakfast before coming to the office or when I have to rush away to an off-site meeting at my usual lunchtime and need a hearty holdover. Chocolate is well, essential to pleasure and sanity. A container of quick oats is another easy breakfast choice, as are whole grain Wasa Crisps, for which I stock a jar of peanut butter. The latter are usually as a mid-afternoon snack however, unless I opt for a handful of nuts. The nuts work double duty when the mood strikes as a way to punch up the protein in my oatmeal. There is a Mediterranean sea salt grinder in the drawer too, because I might as well get a few extra minerals in my food on the days when I eat at my desk.


Elements of (Snacking) Style


Tea has antioxidants, so I’ve tried to make it a habit to drink it. Keeping a few varieties (currently green, Earl Grey and an açaí pomegranate and blueberry green tea blend) at hand reminds me to consume it, because as a coffee drinker, my inclination is to reach for a cup of Joe (which also has myriad health benefits, but I get plenty in the morning). It’s also comforting to have around when I’m under the weather. A box of Emergen-C is always in the drawer as well, for those days when I feel the need for a little fizzy vitamin punch (I’ve heard it’s good for hangovers too, in case you find yourself having been overserved the prior evening). I keep honey for the tea on top of my desk after having learned the hard way that when you place a container of honey on its side in a drawer, it usually leaks.


Sharing is caring

Finally, keeping enough on hand to share has more than once been a source of relief to a hungry co-worker. Having been on the receiving end of a colleague’s generosity in my times of need—when my snack drawer left much to be desired—having it stocked and employing an open drawer policy are both my way of paying it forward. As you might imagine, the chocolate is always the first to go.


Someday, I dream of a mini-fridge under my desk. Until then, the current lineup is proving to be a great way to stay fueled and alert throughout the work day.


What do you keep in your office snack drawer? Share your suggestions in the comments.