Snacking is critical to the happiness of our modern day lives. Snacking is so critical that I’d say half of the food portion of a grocery store is snacks. You’ve got an isle dedicated to cookies and candies and chocolates. You’ve got another dedicated to just “snacks” in general along with various juices. You’ve got an entire “health food section” that is primarily bags of snacks. The front of the store is snacks (try to check out without running into a candy bar - I dare you! Even at Trader Joe’s!).
Let’s face it, while playing a game it’s important to shove food into our faces because it makes the experience more comforting. There is a reason that comfort food is called comfort food - it’s because it is comforting. Captain Obvious signing out. Although there have been some arguments by great comedians and nutritionist that all food is a comfort food, we still can’t deny the fact that noming on something while gaming is just comforting.
However, it can and probably is terrible for you. Calories are easy to find in our modern diets and snacks hold one of the leading roles for obesity. Not just obesity mind you, but all kind of ailments that aren’t necessarily recognized nor stigmatized with eating snacks, but do exist. I’ll let you drum up your memories of high school health class for the lecture on what is and isn’t good, then remind you modern health is probably drastically different then when you were in school.
With that said, here are my five recommendations for awesome snack food while gaming to help you when you ask the question, “what should I snack on tonight?”
0. Fruit & Vegetables
I’m not even going to list this because it’s a no duh kind of thing. Fruit can inherently be bad for you depending on your diet, because fruit does contain a lot of natural sugars, but most fruit is far from calorie dense and you can indulge in some light snacking with things like caramel dips or ranch for vegetables.
Prepare your fruits before your gaming session and just sit them beside your table. You can also eat fruit without preparation, for instance, just biting into an apple. Veggies just need to be cleaned and popular snacking vegetables is the baby carrot. You could, if you’re adventurous enough and want to waste money, just buy a fruit tray.
1. Cheetos / Doritos Inside a Ziploc Bag
While this is from Cheeto's Facebook, I seriously do not suggest putting them in that dip. That's way too extreme for me. On the topic, dips are pretty bad calorie wise most of the time.
The biggest problem with bags of chips or snacks is that it’s easy to just sit in on them. You can easily eat an entire bag of Doritos in like no time. The reason being is that it’s there, it’s right in front of you, and it’s easily accessible. You’ll eat while being distracted by the computer and you’ll have tons of empty unfilling calories.
There is two solutions to this issue that makes it a bit healthier, a little bit cheaper, and just as satisfying. You can either take a dedicated snack bowl and fill it with a reasonable amount of snacks. Then take that to your computer. Most will adjust their snacking speed to not consume the entire bowl instantly, meaning you’ll snack just as long with a lot less food.
Alternatively, you can take quart sizes Ziploc bags and fill them full of the snacks. Then just grab a ziploc bag and eat it, having a proper portion of snacks.
2. Sandwich / Footlong
You can run by Subway and get yourself a day or two full of dinner and a snack. Sandwiches are one of the easiest things to eat while playing games that are also like actual food. Here is what I do. Take the sandwich and cut it into fourths. Then just grab one of the fourths, some chips (I just grab one of the Ziploc bags from the previous tip), and that’s pretty much it. You can go back for seconds and still have half a footlong sandwich left.
3. Cereal without Milk
The problem with gaming and cereal is the need to use a spoon. If you remove milk from the equation then you can use your hands to grab the cereal and eat it. One of the really cool crazy things about cereal is that it usually is really small, so unless you take giant fist fulls of it then it’ll last a really long time while you’re gaming. Crazy stuff, huh?
Trail mix works too, but far fewer people enjoy it. Triscuits and other crackers / snacks work the same.
Pizza is another hand held food that works wonders. Here’s how to do it up right. Order the biggest pizza that you can, then put that sucker in the fridge. When it comes time to heat it up, put two slices in a skillet and warm it up so that the pizza remains crispy and fresh, grab yourself a soda, and get your game on.
Below is a video on how to properly reheat pizza.
5. Cookies and the Such
Yeah, last on the least is probably the worst for you, but cookies work too. Now, instead of taking the entire bag of cookies and putting it beside your computer, the same bowl / ziploc technique works wonders to prevent you from setting in and eating too many. You can also aim to get the smaller ones so that you take smaller bites.
Bonus: Chinese Food & Chicken Nuggets
Yeah, get some orange chicken, some chopsticks, and between pulls you’ve got yourself a few bites. You can also snag some McNuggets and snack on those too. Realistically, finger food.