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The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

5 Nutritious After School Snack Ideas

Cynthia Guevara De La Mora
Toast with crunchy peanut butter topped of with diced mini bananas. Taken on 2/11/24 by Cynthia Guevara.

After a long day of school, you may be hungry but don’t want to have a huge meal or just don’t feel like cooking just after you get home. When preparing a snack, you want something nutritious that won’t harm your body and cause you to lose energy. When choosing anything you eat, you must consider the ingredients and whether it truly benefits you. Most things that we are accustomed to eating are full of bad ingredients that contribute to bad gut health, low energy, depression, acne, etc. Here are five nutritious snacks that are easy to prepare and give you the energy you need. These snacks have all three essential nutrients: protein, fiber, and healthy fats that keep you full and stabilize your blood sugar levels, keeping cravings at bay.

Dates have a ton of nutrients and benefits for you. They are rich in antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Dates even aid in helping with constipation due to their high fiber content. While you can eat dates alone, there is a way to spice things up. For this snack, you´ll need 3 dates, peanut butter, and dark chocolate, low in sugars and antioxidants and minerals like potassium, zinc, and magnesium. Grab the dates and slice it halfway just enough to open it and take the pit out, then press into the date to flatten it out. Once it is flat, spread peanut butter on the inside and drizzle melted dark chocolate on top. You can then pop it in the fridge for a few minutes or until the dark chocolate hardens. You now have a delicious treat that you can enjoy.

When preparing a snack, it is essential to be balanced and target different nutrient points. A mix of almonds, cheese, and dark chocolate is an excellent balanced snack. A balanced snack is essential for getting nutrients from different groups and gaining energy. Nuts are rich in nutrients, protein, and healthy fats and also provide protective functions against heart disease and diabetes. This snack has many cheese choices, like feta, mozzarella, gouda, and goat cheese. Cheese contains protein, fat, vitamin B12, potassium, and calcium, which are essential to have in your diet for its benefits. Calcium helps keep your teeth from getting cavities and is essential for bone and muscle health. Dark chocolate is an excellent addition to this snack to add a touch of something sweet to the saltiness of cheese and nuts. Dark chocolate creates the needed balance and adds the nutrients of antioxidants that improve brain function.

Toast with peanut butter and fruit is a good snack for craving a sweet and salty snack. Fruit and peanut butter are a great combination that balances each other out. Grab two slices of toast for this snack and spread peanut butter. You can then top this with whichever fruit you want. Add a drizzle of honey or chocolate for extra sweetness, or even a sprinkle of coconut shreds. This snack contains healthy fats and protein from the peanut butter, fiber, vitamins and minerals from the fruit, and anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits from the honey.

Greek yogurt with fruit, granola, and honey is an excellent snack with all sorts of nutrients. Greek yogurt is a fantastic snack for the body since it’s high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals like B12, zinc, and selenium. It helps improve bone health, reduces hunger, boosts metabolism, and improves gut health. The addition of the granola, fruit, and honey balances out the Greek yogurt and adds a touch of sweetness to it. Greek yogurt is filled with many benefits, and the fruit and honey are rich in nutrients and brain-improving benefits.

Last but not least, we have cookies. Who doesn’t love cookies? Although there are cookies that are bad for you, there are also cookies that are healthier alternatives. There are a lot of cookies with a lot of refined sugar, oils, and ingredients that mess up your gut health and drain energy from you instead of fueling you. Some cookies are more nutrient-dense compared to the cookies we usually would eat.

Siete is an excellent, clean brand derived from Mexican heritage, and its ingredients are all-natural. Siete has three cookie options: Mexican wedding cookies, shortbread cookies, and chocolate cookies. Siete cookies are gluten-free, grain-free, and non-GMO. Another cookie brand with clean ingredients is the Simple Mills Crunchy Almond flour chocolate chip cookies. Simple Mills cookies are gluten-free and are a great option if you are craving chocolate chip cookies. Simple Mills is a brand dedicated to having ingredients you can read, not artificial ingredients you can’t understand. HU Grain-Free chocolate chip cookies are also another chocolate chip cookie option. They are free of refined sugars and sugar alcohols. These cookie options are free of any refined sugars and sugar alcohol. They instead use coconut sugar. Sugar alcohols are said to be a healthy alternative, but they are not. Sugar alcohols cause a lot of problems to our body, like bloating, stomach pain, and gas.

Next time you prepare a snack, look for things that benefit your body instead of harming it and causing problems. We are so used to resorting quickly to chips like Takis or Hot Cheetos and snacks filled with refined sugars while they are unknowingly causing lots of damage to our body. It’s a myth that eating healthy is gross and ¨rabbit food¨. Once you start choosing foods more wisely, you’ll see the change in your mood, your ability to move better, and a more transparent brain to get stuff done.

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