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Healthy After School Snacks for Teens

By Sara Ipatenco

When your teen gets home from school, he may be ravenous. It is important to ensure that his after-school snack choices are nutritious. Keeping a few staples on hand will allow your teen to seek out a snack he enjoys that will also provide important vitamins and minerals he needs for energy and to perform well at school and in sports, Kimberly A. Tessmer reports in her book, "The Everything Nutrition Book: Boost Energy, Prevent Illness and Live Longer."

Tortilla Rolls

A whole-wheat tortilla is a filling snack option for teenagers and is also nutritious because it supplies nutrients such as fiber. Tessmer suggests sprinkling a tortilla with low-fat cheddar cheese and heating it in the oven or microwave until melted. Roll the tortilla up and slice it into five or six pieces. Serve with fresh tomato salsa for a dose of vitamin C. Another healthy option for dip is guacamole, which supplies unsaturated fat and a large amount of potassium.

String Cheese and Sunflower Seeds

The combination of string cheese and sunflower seeds will give your teen a good dose of protein for energy, as well as some calcium for her still growing bones. Choose low-fat string cheese to help control how much saturated fat your teen consumes. Any type of low-fat sliced cheese offers similar benefits. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, which your teen needs for healthy skin, nails and hair. You can use pumpkin seeds as a nutritious alternative for sunflower seeds.

Popcorn with Dried Fruit

Air-popped popcorn is low in fat and calories so your teen can eat 2 or 3 cups without going overboard. Popcorn is also a good source of fiber so it makes a nutritious after-school snack, according to Jodie Shield, MEd, RD, and Mary Catherine Mullen, MS, RD, in the book, "The American Dietetic Association Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids." Add some low-sugar dried fruit, such as raisins, currants, prunes or cranberries, to add some vitamin C and potassium to the snack. A shake of cinnamon will add some sweetness to the snack as well.

Mini Bagel Sandwiches

Mini bagels are a healthy after-school food choice that keep portions snack-sized. Many brands are available in whole-wheat versions for more fiber. Keeping some sandwich filling ingredients on hand will allow your teen to make his own snack when he gets home. Reduced-fat cream cheese and tomato slices are a nutritious combination. Peanut butter with bananas or cheese and apple slices are other healthy options and will supply protein and fiber for energy.

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