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COLUMN: Eating 9-5: How to eat well at work

No Bake Coconut Energy Balls
No Bake Coconut Energy Balls


Many of us spend a significant amount of time at work. Whether you work weekdays from 9 to 5, or shift work, it can be a challenge to make healthy food choices in the workplace.

Many of us spend a significant amount of time at work. Whether you work weekdays from 9 to 5, or shift work, it can be a challenge to make healthy food choices in the workplace.

This month I will share some tasty tips that will help make planning workday meals a breeze!

Brown Bag It


Save money and time by bringing lunch from home.


·      Plan lunch items on your grocery list so you have them on hand.

·      Pack your lunch the night before when you are less rushed.  

·      Take foods from three of the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide (the four food groups are vegetables and fruit, grain products, meat and alternatives and milk and alternatives).

·      Choose different items so you don’t get bored.


Build a Better Sandwich


·      Use different whole grains for your sandwich (breads, bagels, tortillas, pitas or rolls).

·      Jazz up sandwiches with honey mustard or salsa.

·      Have some protein to keep you full.  Choose nuts, seeds, nut butters, hummus, canned fish, meat, eggs or cheese.


Vibrant Veggies


Add flavour with vegetables or fruit.  Put them in containers and add to your sandwich just before eating. You can also have them on the side. Try purchasing pre-cut vegetables and fruit to save time.

·      Cucumber, celery, peppers, tomatoes or grated carrot

·      Lettuce, salads or coleslaw

·      Cut-up apples or grapes


Lively Leftovers


Get out of the sandwich rut by having leftovers. Try chili, vegetable soup, spaghetti, baked beans, pizza, casseroles or stir fries.



Variety is the Spice of Life


Make lunch interesting by combining small items. Here are some ideas:

·      Pancakes, fruit and yogurt

·      Melba toast, cheese and grape tomatoes

·      Pasta salad, canned fish, milk and fruit

·      Hard cooked egg, whole wheat crackers and yogurt

·      Pita, hummus and veggies

·      Whole wheat tortilla, nut butter and banana


Save Room for Snacks


Small snacks give you energy for a busy day.

·      Have a snack if there are more than three to five hours between your meals.

·      Put snacks on your grocery list so you have healthy items on hand.                                                                        

·      Have snacks with one or two food groups depending on the amount of time between your meals. You may not need full servings.


Hungry for more? Like @SobeysDietitian on Facebook and Twitter for more tasty tips & recipes or receive our schedule of events and Healthy Bits & Bites Newsletter directly to your inbox! Register at www.sobeyspharmacy/newsletter.

Nutrition Events

Did you know? Sobeys Pharmacy Dietitians offer a variety of free nutrition classes and one-one counselling. Join Jayme’s taco taste and learn class to learn how to reduce sodium and fat on March 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sobeys Aberdeen. To register or for more information call 902-755-3645 or email


Jayme Saint, RD, is a Sobeys Pharmacy Dietitian


Jayme’s Recipe Corner


No Bake Coconut Energy Balls

Makes 20



¼ cup 60 ml Coconut, unsweetened

1 cup 250 ml Quick oats

½ cup 125 ml Coconut and peanut spread

½ cup 125 ml Flax seed, ground

¼ cup 60 ml Chocolate chips

¼ cup 60 ml Maple syrup

1 tsp 5 ml Vanilla



1. Place coconut in a dry frying pan and heat on low until it starts to turn golden brown.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Roll into 1-inch balls and put in fridge until serving.


Nutrition Information per Serving:

Calories 86

Fat 6 grams

Carbohydrate 11 grams

Fibre 2 grams

Protein 3 grams

Sodium 21 milligrams


Tip: Replace the coconut and peanut spread with any nut butter.

Source: Sobeys Dietitians

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