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You Are What You Eat

Whether they are in need of energy or just looking to brighten their day, NAI students rely on snacks to survive the long school day

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Didn’t eat breakfast? Don’t have lunch until eighth period? Need some fuel for your after-school basketball game? Snacks in class can be a saving grace throughout the school day.

Take a walk through the hallways or stop into a classroom and your nose will be enlightened by a plethora of sweet and salty snacks. Some of the NAI favorites include Chex Mix, Goldfish, protein bars, and Pop Tarts, but others are a little more surprising. Have you ever seen someone nibbling on an ear of corn, bread and olives, or wasabi roasted seaweed?

Whether these mid-day snacks seem traditional or eccentric to peers and teachers, when it comes down to it, they delight their consumers’ taste buds, and that is what truly matters.




Richard divides his lunch over two periods by bringing some snacks to English class.


In their waking hours, students are expected to be powerhouses, packing in school, clubs, sports, and homework. A large feat, they need several energy boosts to help power them through these marathon days.

Richard, a member of the North Allegheny Swim Team, is no different. He carefully spaces his snacks throughout the day to maximize his energy level for classes, as well as swim practices and meets. “Eating snacks boosts my energy, and it always feels better having some food in you,” he says.

Applesauce, chips and guacamole, bread and olives, chocolate milk, and nutrition bars are just some of the many snacks that Richard can be found eating, mainly during fourth period English, fifth period lunch, and ninth period math.

According to Richard, “Dividing lunch over two periods allows me to eat at a leisurely pace. My ninth period snack is to prepare for my after-school swim practice or meet.”


Rachel munches on wasabi roasted seaweed during Mr. Hull’s first period English class.


Do you love the sensation of setting your mouth on fire while tears stream down your face? Well, Rachel finds this spicy fiesta in her mouth enjoyable. Her favorite snack during the day: wasabi roasted seaweed. Never heard of it? Most people have not.

“A friend offered it [wasabi roasted seaweed] to me. I usually love spicy foods, but I was afraid to try wasabi. I decided to give it a go, and it was so good and super healthy too,” Rachel says.

A little added crunch helps Rachel to relieve stress and provides her with an extra energy boost to power her through the seven-hour school day.

“Yes, it is hard not to perk up after eating something that spicy,” she says.


Rory (left) and Sydney (right) share a bag of Cheddar Chex Mix.

Rory and Sydney: 

What’s the fun of eating a snack alone? The dynamic duo of Rory and Sydney decide to mix things up by sharing a bag of Cheddar Chex Mix.

A classic party food, Chex Mix is a snack to be shared. With this cheesy delight, Rory and Sydney bring their own party to Mr. Hull’s English class.

Sharing a snack not only makes classes more enjoyable, it also rejuvenates students throughout the day. According to Rory and Sydney, “We are more focused and attentive during and after classes in which we have our snack. It also provides us with the energy to do extracurricular activities and sports after school, which often delay our dinner time.”


Lydia multitasks by eating apples while working on an English assignment.


An apple a day keeps the doctor away, at least that’s how the old saying goes. Either way, an extra dose of vitamin C in the height of flu season never hurts.

Lydia can be found enjoying this refreshing snack during third and sixth period. Like many students, Lydia starts feeling hungry much before the start of her scheduled lunch period. Loss of concentration in class is a common result. Snacks before or after lunch help students to refocus and engage in their learning.

“I eat apples and other snacks throughout the day instead of lunch because they fill me up and do not interrupt class,” she says, “Snacks also help me to concentrate during the long school day.”


Sai poses with her Goldfish during her ninth period class.


How can you not smile when eating a fish-shaped, cheddar cracker that is grinning right back at you?

A childhood favorite, Goldfish crackers are still a go-to snack for many high school students.

Sai can be found snacking on Goldfish during ninth period. “They are very convenient to eat during class and do not make a huge ruckus while I am eating,” she says.

With a booked schedule from morning to evening, Sai uses snacks to power her through school, activities, and hours of homework.

“For me, I eat snacks during class because I rarely have time to eat breakfast and sometimes lunch depending on the day. I don’t usually stress eat, but I eat to give me enough energy to keep going. Also, I do a lot of after-school activities, so eating right before school ends helps to keep me going for my extra-curricular activities,” she says.


Angela: (Not Pictured)

Nothing says summer like a nice golden ear of corn dripping with melted butter. Well, Angela brings this summer staple to class to brighten her school day. She can be found munching on corn, yes, corn, in the middle of class.

Her explanation, “It’s fun!”

Who can argue with that?

A lover of food of all kinds, Angela also says, “Eating in class sometimes gives me energy but sometimes makes me more tired. Either way, eating makes me happy!”



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You Are What You Eat