Afterschool Snack Ideas for Teens

Serve up afterschool snacks your teen will actually eat.
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When your teenager comes home, complaining that he’s starving and he just might die if he has to wait until dinner to eat, then it’s time to figure out some healthy, filling snacks that will tide him over—if only so you don’t have to hear him complain.

A good afterschool snack for a teenager is not only nutritious but also filling—and easy, because who has time to cook all day just for a snack? While it should have a fruit or vegetable component, pair it with an item that seems a little more like a treat.

 You don’t want it to be full of sugar or saturated fat, but giving a teen plain baby carrots probably won’t go over well. Try out some of these combinations that combine healthy fats, lean proteins or whole grains with fresh fruits and vegetables for a winning afterschool snack.

BYO: Blend Your Own

When you mix up the right ingredients, a smoothie can be just the right snack for the mid-afternoon. For a low-calorie smoothie, mix 1 cup green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale, a half-cup of fruit, like a banana or berries and enough water to easily blend. For a little extra sweetness, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. If you want some extra protein, add a half-cup of vanilla Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

Do the Dip

If there’s a snack everyone loves, it’s a hearty dip. If your teen prefers carbs after school, give him a bowl full of whole-grain crackers or pretzels. If you can get away with it, add in a few sticks or celery and baby carrots.

Pair it with spicy mustard or, if you have time to cook, spinach-artichoke dip. Mix Greek yogurt with canned, drained, chopped artichokes and defrosted frozen spinach. Add a couple tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

Pop It Out

Air-popped popcorn is filling, tasty and surprisingly low in calories—3 cups has less than 100 calories!

To give it a little extra flavor, sprinkle on some cheese, nutritional yeast or even some extra-virgin olive oil for a little extra healthy fat. Some other toppings you might not think of: chili powder, cinnamon, paprika or salt and vinegar. Pair it with a piece of fresh fruit for a little extra nutrition.

Feeling Frosty

When that afternoon sun is blasting down, and everyone is dripping with sweat, pull a snack out of the freezer that everyone can enjoy. Skip the sugary Popsicles—those are better suited for little kids. Instead, freeze fresh fruit. Grapes and blueberries do particularly well in the freezer, and you can dip banana slices in dark chocolate for a sweet snack.

Bakers Dozen

If you have extra time on the weekend, spend an hour or two baking healthy treats that your teen can munch on during the week. Most teens love protein bars, but commercial options are full of sugar and preservatives. Make you own protein bars by combining protein powder with ingredients of your choice, such as peanut or almond butter, honey, nuts, seeds or dried fruit.

With any luck, a healthy, filling snack will stop your teen from incessantly questioning you when dinner will be ready. Stock up on these snacks over the weekend, and let your teenager munch as he sees fit when he gets home from school—no whining necessary. 

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