Teens can be a tough group of people to please, especially if they’re your own! One thing is for sure, if you have a growing teenager, plan to have your grocery bill skyrocket. They can eat a lot of food. On the opposite extreme, you may have a small-ish teen who doesn’t eat much at all. Whether they have hit a growth spurt, or their appetites is diminished, they can both eat the same healthy snacks!
We’ve always seen snacking as a way to meet nutrient gaps from the day. If they day is half gone and no protein has been consumed, I always suggest a snack higher in protein. If no fruits or veggies have been eaten, then I suggest one of those!
The perfect snack to me, is one that has a little protein paired with some complex carbs. These can not only fill nutritional gaps in a teens diet, but they are also filling and satiating! These are some of our favorites:
- Hard Boiled Eggs plus an apple. Whether your teen is looking to gain muscle or lose weight, this perfectly packaged protein can be the answer. Add the apple for energy and fiber.
- String cheese plus a handful of almonds. Calcium is vital for this age group as they are still in the bone growth phase of their life. The almonds are a filing compliment to add some good fat, magnesium and fiber.
- Soft pretzels and hummus. The recipe I posted the other day was perfect for my 13 year old. He came home from school, ate the snack and literally didn’t come back to the kitchen until dinner.
- Peanut butter and an apple. The ultimate snack with perfect portions of fat, carbs, and protein! Change up the peanut butter by grinding up other nuts like almonds or cashews. We love apples and nut butters!
- Low fat yogurt with berries and cottage cheese. Another calcium power house! Exchange the low fat yogurt for some Greek yogurt and the protein literally doubles. Adding the berries gives a great flavor while also getting in some vital antioxidants.
- Popcorn mixed with nuts and dried fruit. This filling snack may be light on protein, but the good fat and energy it will bring makes it a great pre-exercise snack.
- Whole wheat English muffin with pizza sauce, veggies, and mozzarella cheese. While these taste best baked and toasty, my teenager just puts it in the microwave to warm it up. Whatever makes him happy.
- Baked corn chips with bean dip. We love the bean dip that has black eyed peas, avocado, and tomatoes! While my kids will literally eat it by the spoonful, adding some pita crisps or chips makes it a little more filling.
The bottom line is to make sure your kids have healthy options for snacks at home. When there is nothing good to eat, the easy solution is junk food. Ask your teens what kind of healthy food they wish you would keep in the house, and make sure it’s there for them.
Bonus snack! Fruit and a yogurt based dip!