Kids, hunger, and snacking are words that seem to get grouped together a lot. You almost can’t plan an event for teens without thinking about some sort of snack, or several, to keep them going. That being said, how do you plan for snacking for your hungry teen, while keeping an eye on their overall health? Integrity Urgent Care has a few ideas to keep those bellies full.
Overall Tips and Tricks
The key to feeding your teens is to find the balance between filling protein, healthful ingredients, and appealing taste. It may seem harder than it could be. According to Healthline, “adolescents undergo a period of rapid growth and development that requires optimal intake of both macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).” Paired along with this rapid growth are kids who are busy with school, extracurricular activities, and socializing and they need even more to keep up with their bodies and minds as they stretch.
Time to Make Something
Getting kids involved in the cooking and preparation process can be a wonderful way to have family time and to get them interested in food beyond gulping it down. Discuss the different ingredients and what makes them ideal for what you are making. Talk about different ways to adjust flavor profiles or to substitute ingredients to make something just as healthy, but even more delicious. Healthy snacking ideas for teens may be as simple as chicken salad to serve on whole grain crackers or energy bites packed with healthy fats. With a little more time, consider frittatas packed with your teenager’s favorite veggies and topped with cheese or make skewers of fruits or tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkled with a little basil if you have the time.
On the Go Eating
Planning ahead for errands, after school, and late night activities will help your teen make better snacking decisions. Work together to package trail mix filled with their favorite nuts and dried fruits or fill baggies with air popped popcorn to satisfy their salty and crunchy cravings. If they like a sweet and salty combo, a small portion of dark chocolate chips in either of those make it seem like an extra treat. If you can take a small lunch tote with an ice pack, cheese sticks provide calcium and protein, lean protein bento boxes with their favorite meats and cheeses elevate the lunchables they loved not so long ago, and Greek yogurt, either plain or as a parfait, can be enjoyed quickly, if there is any other way your teen eats!
Drinking Your Snack
Smoothies are a perfect healthy snack for teens or standing in as a meal with the right balance of ingredients. Frozen fruit is perfect for blending with a little juice or milk. Adding in fresh spinach or an avocado can provide extra nutrients without changing the flavor of the smoothie. For a touch of protein, consider a nut butter, Greek yogurt, or a protein powder you love. Try a few different powders before you settle on one, they have different ingredients and flavor profiles that you may prefer over others.
For everyone in your home, it’s a good idea to have a bowl of whole fruits out on a counter or table for a quick and easy way to get a serving of fruit and fill your stomach as you walk by. Making the fruit within eyesight makes it more likely you will want it and grab it next time you need something to eat. Having cut up fruit and washed veggies like baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and sweet bell peppers, in the fridge can lead to healthier snacking as well. If kids want a little more from their snack, you can always pair veggies with hummus or a savory yogurt dip and fruit with a sweet yogurt dip.
Integrity Urgent Care knows that keeping up with your teenager can be a challenge in a number of ways. Hopefully, by feeding their body and mind with healthful snacks, you are able to help wrangle all the rest of their needs. This tips will also help aid in their future health when the time comes for them to go to college. For any medical services, from sports injuries to school physicals, come visit us. Our clinics are open from 8 am to 8 pm, every day, meaning our doors are open after school and on the weekend to help you fit it all in.