Working from home? These nutritious nibbles will keep you fuelled all day long

You’ve just eaten a bowl of cereal for breakfast and feel ready to kick-start the day. Next, you brew yourself some hot coffee and walk to your home-office desk to get started on your task list. However, you start getting hunger pangs at 11:00 a.m. in anticipation of lunch. Since you’re working from home, 24-hour access to a kitchen full of treats can cause hunger as well as nutrition challenges.

Nutritionist therapist, Lauren Gayfer, shares her nutritional formula to help you avoid the biscuit tin and instead choose to eat and drink your way to productivity while working from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

Keep a good stock of healthy snacks

You can try the following combinations:
1. Oatcakes with hummus or nut butter (such as almond, hazelnut or cashew).
2. Full-fat natural yogurt with peaches and pistachios.
3. Apple slices dipped in almond butter.
4. A hard-boiled egg (you can boil these in advance and keep them in the fridge) with some cherry tomatoes.

Some more snacking ideas when working from home

Kale chips

Experts suggest we should consume a minimum of two cups of vegetables a day and baked kale chips offer a simple and tasty way to sneak in a serving of veggies. For people who are working at home, this is one of the easiest snacks to prepare.

Sweet and sassy nuts

Seasoned with cinnamon, cumin and ground chipotle pepper, a jar of mixed nuts is simply irresistible and also very healthy for you. But, pre-portion each serving before digging into this addictively flavoured mix.

Citrus marinated olives

Olives make nutritious snacks because they are heart-healthy and have high fibre content, both of which help to keep you full. For marinating the olives, rinse them first and then squeeze over lime juice and sprinkle some salt. Mix them well and keep them covered in a bowl.

Homemade microwave popcorn

Popcorn is a wholegrain and is considered as a healthy snack option. Replace your cheesy popcorn with a generous helping of a plain, less salted and high-fibre option.

Parmesan whole wheat pita crisps

The best substitute to those oily chips and crackers are whole wheat pita crisps baked in a parmesan cheesy flavour. They’re a great source of wholegrains and calcium. You can pair it with a Greek yogurt dip to boost your intake of calcium and protein.

Spiced chickpeas

Chickpeas are rich in soluble fibre, protein and iron while low in saturated fat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to make this snack healthy and tasty.

Whole wheat banana quick bread

Made with wholegrains and banana, this quick bread is a good source of fibre and is not high in fat either. In fact, replace a bowl of sugary cereal for your breakfast with a slice of this wholesome bread.

Work at home mums and dads need a little extra care, as they need more energy to multi-task.

Here are some habits you need to be careful about:

Always have a good, balanced breakfast

• Sugar-free, nutty granola or muesli with full-fat natural yogurt and some fresh berries.
• Porridge with whole, organic milk with goji berries, ground flaxseeds and plenty of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.
• Scrambled or poached eggs and smoked salmon on toasted bread or rye bread.

Limit your caffeine intake

Tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks might help in keeping you awake, but it creates a massive spike in your blood sugar that comes crashing down almost immediately leading to low energy and reduced concentration. Instead, try herbal teas; green tea or lemon in hot water which is very cleansing. And, because you’re working at home, you will have a variety of herbal tea options to choose from.

Take a lunch break

Although you’re working from home and you could continue to look at the computer screen even during your lunch break, this habit does not allow your food to digest properly and can lead to bloating later on.

Drink plenty of water

Fill up a litre glass bottle or jug with filtered water at the beginning of each day and ensure you finish it. If you find plain water a bit boring, you can squeeze some fresh lemon or lime into it, for a beautifully refreshing, cleansing and detoxifying drink.