Better Bites

Healthy snack habits for your teen

In the hours your teen spends holed up in her room, there are many times a parent wants to intervene. We wish we could keep track of who they’re talking to on the phone, what they’re playing on the computer, and how much time is spent studying versus giggling?

Fortunately, there is one aspect in your teen’s life where you can stay involved: Proper nutrition.

Kids who eat chips and soda may find that these treats are tasty and provide a quick energy boost. But they are loaded with empty calories which lead to weight gain. These snacks don’t fill you up, and after that initial sugar high, they may make you hungrier by the time your next meal comes around.

Parents who offer healthy and nutritious snacks to their kids will keep them nourished, satisfied, and well fueled for a busy school day. Smart snacking keeps your child’s energy level up and her weight down. It will also help your child make smart choices at meal times.

The key to getting your teen to choose the right foods; is in making healthy snacks easy and accessible. Prepare snacks in advance and leave them on the counter or in the fridge, so your teens can grab and go.

Make fruits and vegetables convenient and easy to eat. Cut them into cubes and store them in clear containers so they are readily available. The best snack foods are complex carbohydrates, or whole grains, combined with protein, such as nuts, beans or low fat dairy foods.

Healthy Snack Ideas:

  • Apple slices or banana with peanut butter
  • Sliced vegetables with low fat dressing or dip
  • Whole wheat pita with hummus
  • Low fat yogurt with berries
  • Whole grain cereal with low fat milk
  • Rice cakes with peanut butter and raisins
  • String cheese and crackers
  • Trail Mix made of whole grain cereal, nuts, and dried fruit

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