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Healthy Snacks to Send Your College Student

By Sara Ipatenco

When your child is away at college, you might worry that he does not get enough nutrients. Sending care packages with snacks is one option that may allow you to increase his intake of healthy foods and ease some of your worry. Many healthy foods keep for several weeks. J. Lucy Boyd notes in her book, "The Complete Guide to Healthy Cooking and Nutrition for College Students," that students who have healthy snacks in their dorm rooms are more likely to get plenty of nutrition.

Mixed Nuts

Nuts are a high-protein food that can energize your college student between classes and meals. A diet that includes nuts is also healthy for your college-age child because it supplies magnesium for proper muscle function as well as unsaturated fats for her heart. Nuts also store well so you can send several different types without worrying about spoilage. Combine your child's favorites, such as walnuts, cashews and pecans, in airtight containers or zip-top bags and send them off.

Granola Bars

Many varieties of granola bars are filled with sugar, chocolate and other candy pieces, which makes them an unhealthy choice. However, granola bars can be a healthy choice to send your college student if you choose healthy varieties over high-sugar ones. Look for a product made with whole grains. Read the nutrition and ingredient labels to ensure that the bar does not contain partially hydrogenated oils or high-fructose corn syrup. Bars made with fruit puree are also more healthy than those with fruit-flavored sugar.

Dried Fruit

Fresh fruit spoils quickly but offers a great deal of nutrition. Some dried fruits provide similar amounts of nutrients, and you can ship them to your college student easily. Read nutrition and ingredient labels on packages of dried fruit and choose the ones with the least sugar. Many types of dried fruit, such as cranberries, contain several grams of sugar to make them taste sweeter. Send your college student several different varieties and mix them with nuts and grains to ensure that he consumes many good nutrients.

Pretzels and Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a high-energy and healthy snack that supplies protein, and it can keep for several months after you open it. Jessica Linnell, in "Off to College: Now What? A Practical Guide to Surviving and Succeeding Your First Year of College," recommends pretzels as a healthy snack for college students, noting they are portable enough to pack for between-class snacks. Look for low-sodium, whole grain pretzels. Send a small jar of peanut butter for dipping, and your college student will have access to a quick snack that provides energy and keeps hunger away until time for his next meal.

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