after-school

5 Easy + Healthy After-School Snacks

5 Easy and Healthy After-School Snacks

The hours between the end of school and dinner can be tough for healthy eating. Pizza, Chipotle and subway are all easy after-school options that are loaded with calories and processed carbohydrates. Below are VarCity’s favorite quick and healthy after-school snacks.

1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are one of the healthiest and most weight loss-friendly foods you can eat.

They contain protein, vitamin K2 and B12, to name a few.

Although their high cholesterol content gave them a bad reputation for years, new studies show that eggs don't have any effect on your risk of heart disease.

Two large, hard-boiled eggs contain about 140 calories and 13 grams of protein.

2. Turkey Roll-Ups

Turkey roll-ups are delicious and nutritious.

Turkey contains high-quality protein, which helps you feel satisfied, preserves muscle mass and burns more calories during digestion than fat or carbs.

3. Healthy Beef Jerky or Beef Sticks

Beef jerky or beef sticks make great high-protein, portable snacks. But make sure you choose the right type.

Some jerkies are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Beef sticks generally don't contain sugar, but many aren't made from high-quality meat and may contain other questionable ingredients.

Look for jerky and beef sticks made from grass-fed beef and salt, with as few ingredients as possible. Grass-fed beef contains more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.

Most beef jerkies and sticks contain about 7 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams).

4. A Piece of Fruit

Healthy snacks don't need to be complicated. Just a single piece of fruit can be incredibly satisfying.

Examples of fruit that are portable and can be eaten with almost no preparation include bananas, apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit and oranges.

5. Mixed Nuts

Nuts are an ideal nutritious snack.

They've been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and may help prevent certain cancers, depression and other diseases.

Despite being relatively high in fat, they are very filling. Several studies suggest that eating nuts in moderation can help you lose weight.

Nuts contain the perfect balance of healthy fat, protein and fiber. They contain about 180 calories in a 1 oz (28 grams) serving, on average.

They also taste great and don't require refrigeration, so they're perfect for carrying with you when away from home.

Our Top 5 Snacks for After-School

Healthy Snacks

After-school healthy snacks are always tricky.  You’re starving, but you don’t want to break the bank and you know you have dinner in a few hours.  Here are VarCity’s top 5 picks for healthy snacks to help you feel full in that 3pm between lunch and dinner area.

Yogurt

Low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. To add taste and nutritional value, whip up a yogurt parfait with berries and granola or make a homemade fruity yogurt pop that beats sugary store-bought frozen treats any day.

Cheese

The protein in this healthy snack keeps energy levels high until dinnertime. We like to stick salt-free pretzel sticks into cubes of low-fat cheese to make "satellite snacks," but you can also make cheese more interesting by putting it on your favorite whole wheat cracker or making kabobs with your favorite fruit.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet spuds are some of the most nutritious vegetables around: They're packed with vitamin A and are good sources of B6, C, and folate. These simple, delicious chips are great alternatives to the greasy, store-bought variety.

Hummus

Made from pureed chickpeas, hummus is an excellent dip for after-school.  It has an appealing nutty flavor, is thick enough not to be messy, and contains folate, vitamin B6, and iron.  Serve hummus with cut-up vegetables or salt-free crackers for dipping, or use it to make a pita bread sandwich.

Whole-Grain Waffles

For a fun alternative to peanut butter and jelly, try waffles for a boost of whole grains and fiber.  These cool new protein-packed waffles topped with a small dollop of cream cheese and a fruit jelly are a refreshing change for snacktime.