Dr James Cheong Siew Meng is a medical practitioner with Unity Family Medicine Clinic. He is passionate about community medicine and care integration. He has been practising medicine since 2007. Any extracts should be attributed back to the author. 28 March 2018.

Snacking, unlike what most people think, can be healthy. By breaking down few large meals into frequent, smaller portions, we can reduce overeating and provide ourselves with a steady stream of energy and nutrients to keep us productive at work the entire day!

With just a little planning, snacks can be enjoyable and nutritious. Here are four healthy office snacks that I recommend for a healthier you.

In Favour of Fresh Fruits

Nothing beats the natural goodness and the refreshing feeling that a bowl of fruits provides. Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre that provide you energy to fuel your day.

Go for apples, pears, oranges, guavas – these are not only rich in Vitamin C, but also affordable and easy to store.

Bananas are also excellent choices and help to make you feel full. Mix and match them. Occasionally, indulge in kiwi fruits, grapes, strawberries and other berries. The more colour in your bowl, the more goodness you get.

Go Nuts with These

Nuts are great food for snacks. They provide energy, proteins and is good for your heart.

Most nuts are rich in unsaturated fats (good fats), omega-3-fatty acids, vitamin E and L-arginine which all promote good heart health by either lowering your cholesterol or reducing the hardening and narrowing of your arteries.

Mix them with muesli, cereals or dried/fresh fruits for variety and nutrients. As nuts contain more fats and calories, do eat them in moderation. Go for plain roasted or unsalted choices to ditch the fat and salt.

Finally, add a topping of yoghurt to give it an irresistible creamy feel to the crunchy munch!

Lean, Green Fuelers

Simple, convenient and healthy, vegetable sticks are an easy way to get your daily greens.

Carrots, celeries, cucumbers, capsicums and cherry tomatoes are excellent choices. Pair them with a healthy dip such as non-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese or mashed avocados.

If you want to enjoy all these goodness together, gather them in a wholemeal wrap.

Get Cracking on These

Whole-grain crackers or biscuits are a good source of energy and help to keep you full. They are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, which lower your risks of diabetes, heart diseases and some cancers.

Add a slice of low-fat or non-fat cheese to give you a boost of calcium and proteins.

Snacking Sensibly

Snacking at the workplace can be fun, enjoyable and relaxing. Give your mind a well-deserved break or recharge your body before the next important task or meeting. Enjoy snacks with your colleagues to make a working day even better. Always remember that moderation is key.