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25 After-School Snack Ideas

They're Healthy and Taste Great, Too!
  -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can still remember how it tasted: The snack that my best friend introduced me to in the 10th grade. So delicious, it soon became part of an everyday after-school ritual. We’d each cut a plain white bagel down the middle, spread a thick layer of salty tub margarine on each half, pop it in the microwave until the margarine was liquefied and the bagel was piping hot and soft, and devour it while sitting cross-legged on her scratchy bedroom carpet, reading magazines and confiding secrets. Often we’d go back for seconds.

Those were the days. Thankfully, for my arteries’ sake, I soon became far better informed about nutrition. During my first after-school job at a health-food store, I learned about the wonderful world of whole grains, healthy fats, and fresh produce. I also learned that these foods can taste just as good as the "junk foods" (and buttered white bagels) I once revered. And yes, there’s more to healthy snacking than rice cakes and celery sticks. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite healthy indulgences that are quick and easy to make. As a parent, you can whip up these easy-to-prepare snacks for your kids, or teach them how to make the recipes themselves. They are full of nutrition and flavor, so everyone will be happy between school and dinner! <pagebreak>

When you want something sweet, try… <pagebreak>
When you want something salty, try… When you'd rather head to the store, remember…
If you don’t have the time to make any of the recipes above but still want to snack healthy, there are some great packaged snacks available. Take a cruise down the natural-food aisle the next time you’re at the supermarket. There are plenty of low-fat, healthy and natural versions of your kids' favorites. Healthy snacks that don't need any prep work include: It's good for kids and teens to snack, especially if they’re eating the right foods. Providing their growing bodies with a steady supply of nutrients is the key to staying healthy and energized. So snack on!