There’s no time to pause during a Halo battle to clean up a bowl of spilled cereal. During an intense gaming session, you need something grabbable, non-sticky and easy to eat while using the other hand to work the mouse. Here are 15 nutritious gaming snacks that won’t ruin your keyboard. As a bonus, all of them are naturally gluten free!
1. Cheese Sticks or Cubes
Cheese sticks are the perfect gaming snack in moderation. They don’t crumble, they’re not sticky and you can leave them in the wrapper until that crucial last bite. If you want to eat cheese even more neatly, nobody will judge you for eating cheese cubes with a fork — because nobody has to know.
A bowl of grapes is a healthy gaming snack that’s pretty hard to mess up. Sure, grapes are juicy, but it’s self-contained juice that won’t destroy your console should your cat knock over the bowl. Grapes are also packed with antioxidants and fiber.
3. Plain Nuts
A bowl of nuts without any extra oil or spices is easy to eat without getting grease stains on your desk. You can find peanuts, cashews, almonds and unshelled pistachios without any added ingredients. Alternatively, you can eat nut butter with a spoon or fork for even less cleanup.
4. Old Wisconsin Turkey Snack Sticks
This isn’t an official endorsement or anything, but Old Wisconsin makes possibly the best turkey sticks around. The honey brown sugar sticks are the perfect blend of sweet and savory. They’ve got just a little bit of bite to them, they’re easy to eat and they don’t make a mess. One serving meets 10% of your daily protein requirements.
5. Cherry Tomatoes
These oh-so-poppable snacks go great with meat and cheese. They’re small enough to eat in one bite without getting juice everywhere. Tomatoes are also packed with vitamin C, potassium and an antioxidant called lycopene, making them very healthy gaming snacks.
6. Peeled Clementines
It’s certainly inconvenient to pick apart a clementine in the middle of a game, but you can do the prep work beforehand. The individual segments make perfect, bite-sized gaming snacks that are just juicy enough without being messy.
7. Sunflower Seeds
Salted sunflower seeds pack a nutritional punch and are very convenient to eat. They’re loaded with vitamin E, niacin, B6 and folate, and they can satisfy your craving for a crunchy snack. You can even eat them with a spoon in their blended form, which is called sun butter.
A blended dip made of chickpeas, sesame seeds and lemon juice, hummus is a very satisfying, filling snack. You can find hummus in a wide variety of flavors — think olive, red pepper or jalapeño honey. It pairs very well with dippable veggies like celery sticks, bell pepper slices, baby carrots and lettuce.
9. Baked Chicken
Buy a rotisserie chicken, chop it up and use it to fuel your next gaming session. Roast chicken is full of vitamin B12, iron and protein. It’s also a lot lower in fat than fried chicken. If you like, you can even use it in lieu of vegetables to dip in your hummus.
10. Nature Valley Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Granola Bars
The name is a mouthful, but you can eat this snack one bite at a time. It’s rare to find a gluten-free, protein-rich granola bar to begin with, but finding one that tastes good and doesn’t explode into a million crumbs when you bite into it is almost impossible. This protein bar gets credit for meeting all of the above criteria.
The granola is sticky enough that it holds together as you eat it, but not so gooey it makes a mess. These bars are also relatively cheap — you can often find them at dollar stores.
Many people think of popcorn as an indulgence. However, popcorn without any added butter or flavoring is actually a healthy, whole-grain snack with lots of fiber. It’s a very low-calorie food, too — one cup of air-popped corn contains only around 30 calories. As an added bonus for gamers, it’s also not wet or sticky, making it much easier to eat at your desk. Munch on!
This smooth, savory dip made of avocados is both nutritious and filling. Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fat as well as magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and vitamins C, E, K and B6. Guacamole is also thick enough that you can’t really spill it. It is a very calorie-dense food, so eat it mindfully.
13. Protein Shakes
A protein shake is great for getting in some healthy extra calories if you’re trying to gain weight. The best thing about a protein shake? You can consume it totally hands-free! Whip up your favorite protein drink, stick a straw in it and sip while you play. Use a lid to prevent it from accidentally spilling.
14. Dried Fruit
Significantly less messy than fresh fruit, this is a great gaming snack. Some of the least sticky types of dried fruit are bananas, strawberries and blueberries. Dried fruit gives you a sugar boost while still providing fiber and nutrients. It also has lots of calories, so be mindful of how much of it you eat in one sitting.
15. Dry Roasted Edamame
Edamame is whole, immature soybeans, usually served with salt. It’s delicious in its own right, but the dried version is even easier to eat while gaming because you don’t have to peel it or eat it with a spoon. Edamame is cholesterol-free and rich in essential amino acids. It also contains protein, fiber and iron to build up your strength.
Fueling Your Fun
Gaming may be a largely sedentary activity, but time flies quickly when you’re fighting dragons. You have to make sure you’re still eating plenty of nutritious food in the process. Opt for balanced meals composed of protein, fiber, fat and slow-burning carbs to nourish your body and keep you feeling full.
Who knows? Filling up on healthy gaming snacks could just make the difference between winning and losing your next tournament.
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