15 Healthy Snacks for Hungry Teens
"Now that my teens are home ALL THE TIME with online school, they’re looking for snacks but as you can imagine, don’t always want fruit or vegetables. What healthy snack foods can I keep in the house that appeal to hungry teens? (and me too!)"
Sound familiar? I was recently asked this question as part of an "Ask the Dietitian" television segment.
As a mom of two teens, I get it!
My teens are always hungry! OR, they’re stressed or bored and not making the best choices.
You know that saying "you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink?". Same here. You can't make a teen (ahem, or your partner) eat healthy foods. You CAN keep healthy foods in the house and hope that they'll find their way to them.
For teens at home trying to stay on track with online school, keep healthy foods on hand that they can grab 'n stay as a snack to provide energy and fuel their brain so they can think and concentrate on school.
One experienced mom tip: Before you stock the kitchen with foods they won't eat, ASK them to offer up some choices. And then put those healthy choices in the fridge or the cupboard at eye level (because we all know if food isn't readily seen, it's not there (insert mom eye roll here)).
Here are 15 healthy snacks that my kids love. Maybe yours will too!
15 healthy snacks for teens approved by this dietitian (and mom!):
1. popcorn drizzled with butter or oil and sprinkled with flavoured salt (e.g. chili salt)
2. apple slices with peanut butter or cheese
3. dark chocolate almond Greek yogurt dip with fruit
4. veggies with hummus (or any dip teens will eat!)
5. mini cracker pizzas (top whole grain crackers with tomato sauce + cheese and broil)
7. banana muffin with a smear of nut butter
8. apple pie muffin top cookies + a glass of milk or a latte
9. trail mix (with a little dark chocolate for a sweet treat)
10. Greek vanilla yogurt + defrosted raspberries
11. whole grain toast with avocado and a fried egg
12. celery stuffed with cheese
15. frozen edamame: steamed, with a drizzle of sesame oil and sea salt
One final word...not everything your teen eats has to be healthy. Food also offers comfort and it's totally okay to eat less-than-healthy snacks too. It's just that nutrient-rich foods that provide energy and nutrients for best health should make up most choices, not all. It's about balance.
Stay safe and well,