The Best Snacks for Gaming Marathons

When you’re wrapped up in a game, pausing it to grab lunch can feel like an impossible chore. You don’t want to starve, though, so what can you do? Here are some of the best snacks to tide you over until you get a real meal.

1. Hot Pockets

Making a sandwich takes too long. You’ve got to get out the bread, meat, and cheese, cut the veggies, spread your condiment of choice, and then layer it all together and eat it. Hot Pockets have done all the work for you. Ham and cheese, pepperoni pizza…there’s even breakfast versions for those times when you’ve stayed up gaming until the crack of dawn.

2. Frozen Pretzels

Those pretzels you get in the chip and snack section are yummy, but they’re not quite satisfying enough. To remedy that, I recommend frozen pretzels. These babies are ready to eat in 60 microwave seconds, and they taste just like the ones you get in the cafe at Target or Kmart. I highly recommend the Superpretzel brand. They give you more than enough salt for all the pretzels, so you’ll always have enough left over to eat later.

3. Ramen

Millions of poor college kids can’t be wrong! Those 10-cent packs of noodles and flavoring are tasty, filling, and cheap. Of course, they’re not very nutritious, and the sodium level for a pack is off the charts. But they’re ready to enjoy in just three minutes, which is nice when you want to eat NOW. For an added touch of luxury, upgrade from those little rectangular blocks of noodles to the 30-cent Cup ‘o Noodles. The cup’s got a few pieces of dehydrated meat and veggies, like peas and carrots, so you can pretend that you’re eating a balanced meal.

4. Hungry Man Frozen Dinners

The name of these dinners is highly accurate–they are truly made for a very hungry man. For a time, Hungry Man even advertised some of their meals specifically to gamers. The packaging boasts “Over 1 pound of food!” You can get tasty treats like beer-battered chicken tenders, cheese fries, green beans cooked in bacon grease, and chocolate brownies all in the same package. They’re cheap at just over $2 per meal, too. Unfortunately, some of the meals also pack nearly 1,000 calories each, plus 30 grams of saturated fat and enough sodium to choke a horse. But hey, that’s the price we pay for such delicious convenience.

Runners-up include Stouffer’s meals (especially the Salisbury steak, steak-mushroom-cheddar melt, and southwest chicken panini) as well as Marie Calendar’s (love their chicken-fried steak and fettuccine alfredo). Oh, and if you ever see Claim Jumpers meals in your grocer’s freezers, buy them all NOW. The Salisbury steak is even better than Stouffer’s, and the chicken-fried chicken is to die for.

5. Popcorn with Cheese

By itself, plain popcorn isn’t very satisfying. But add in the fixins’, like shredded cheese, fine salt, and copious amounts of butter, and you’ve got yourself a hearty snack. Shredded cheddar or even Parmesan cheese works great. Don’t use those prepackaged envelopes of corn and fake butter flavoring, though. Get a bag of loose kernels and do the job yourself. You can pop the corn by tossing a handful in a paper bag, folding over the top, and microwaving it for three minutes. Here’s a tip: if the corn stops popping, get it out now before it burns.

6. Any Frozen Appetizer

I’ll just cut to the chase and say it–you can’t get much easier than frozen appetizers. Name your favorite snack, and you’ll find it in the frozen section, all ready to cook up perfectly and quickly in your microwave or oven. You can’t really use a fork and knife to eat while gaming, can you? So, snacks that you can eat one-handed are best. Think mozzarella cheese sticks, popcorn chicken, potato skins, puff pastries…endless possibilities.

7. Chips and Guacamole

This one’s actually kind of healthy for you. Guacamole is loaded with nutrients and healthy fats, and it makes a very satisfying snack. Pair it with some stone-ground corn tortilla chips and you’ve almost got yourself a meal. For the dieters among you, substitute the dip with salsa.

Hungry yet? Hopefully these tips will inspire you to set down the controller and grab a bite. Your team doesn’t want you passing out from starvation in the middle of a match, after all.

 

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