Our criteria for selecting healthy treats.

Updated: Aug 16

A healthy life can mean a variety of things to different people. The 3pm Box believes in bio-individuality which means that what one person may thrive on, may be another person’s poison. This is relevant for those who have specific dietary restrictions such as dairy, nut or gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, and are restricted in the foods that they are able to consume. It's also true of those who may not have a specific dietary restriction, but are choosing to avoid foods that do not hold nutritional value, and instead focus on those that have a positive impact on our body and how they feel. This belief is at the core of the set of guidelines for the treats that we want to be part of our box.

The products we choose to include are as close to their natural state as possible, and are full of rich micronutrients and antioxidants among other benefits. As part of our discovery process we look for products that are:

  1. Refined sugar free

  2. No artificial colours, flavourings or anything of the kind

  3. Prioritise organic products

Here are the reasons why-

Refined sugar free

Sugar can be a sensitive subject. It almost feels like a natural instinct to reach for something like sugar to give us energy when we feel a lul in our day (cue in 3.30itis). While we react to sugar differently to some degree, one thing that is certain - it's addictive! In a 2007 study rats were given cocaine until they became dependent on it. Then, researchers provided them a choice – the rats could continue to have the cocaine or they could switch to refined sugar. Guess which one a staggering 94% of the sample chose? Yes, sugar. Refined sugars also tends to be higher in calories and contain lower micronutrients compared to natural sugars.

The products in The 3pm Box include sugars that exist in fruits or are natural sweeteners and tend to be packed with vitamins, antioxidants, fibre which helps increase the feeling of feeling full and satisfied and can help limit the amount of food consumed at once (this helps for those who have a sweet tooth!).

To help navigate through the maze of sugary treats and get to the good stuff, The 3pm Box can be an easy solution for you. We use the term ‘crowding out’ which means, by eating healthier alternatives when you’re looking for a pick me up, you're less likely to go for the nutrition-less options.

Artificial colours and flavourings

Artificial colours and flavourings can also affect people in different ways. Some people are sensitive and can have reactions, whilst others may be able to tolerate the product at the time. We believe there is no need to have this risk when consuming food. We believe it is FOOD which should be eaten and that there are many items which hit the mark on taste without having any artificial unknowns added to them.


We believe organic produce to be best, however, it’s not always available. Organic food refers to the fertilisation or feed of plant or animals without using chemically formulated fertilisers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides. Non-organic refers to food where the use of chemically formulated substances may have been used in some form. Studies have pointed to health problems as a result of consuming non-organic foods, which can range from hormone disruption, skin, eye, and lung irritation and possible chronic defects such as nerve disorders and reproductive defects. So all-in-all, let's choose organic when we can!

It's also worth noting that some foods are more absorbent of pesticides and herbicides which means that they can remain on the food when we consume them. This area of research is still in it's early stages and is still debatable (as many things in the health industry are) on the long term implications to health.

So this is what we stand for and our ‘why’. For a few easy ways to find foods that you thrive off see below -

  • Write down what you eat for the next three days broken down by breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks.

  • Following this, write down how you feel 2-3 hours after eating each food or drink. Think about your energy levels, mood, how full you feel etc.

  • After these days pass, have a look at your notes. Are there themes across the days to which foods really work for you, and which ones may not as much?

  • Be conscious when making food decisions- if there were foods that make you feel bloated, wired, tired, make you fall into a lull after a few hours, recognise that and make a note for future food choices. Be conscious to the foods that give you energy, give you a sustained fulfilment for a long time.

  • Chose the foods that fuel you

Both Dot and I are both going to be doing this over the next three days. We’ll post the foods which light us up on instagram. Let's do this together, please share your findings, take photos of your food and tag us - we'll be keeping an eye out for your posts!

Jel & Dot xx