Healthy snacking is good for teenagers because it provides them with the energy they need to get through the day. Eating the right foods helps teens consume a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Education Program. Clear your house of chips, cookies and other sugary, empty-calorie foods that teenagers often gravitate to. Instead, stock the refrigerator with healthy alternatives based on teen-friendly recipes.
Combine 1/2 cup mixed fruit chopped into bite-size pieces, 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt and 1/2 oz. shelled sunflower seeds together to make a nutritious fruit salad that provides one full serving of dairy, fruit and protein. Grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, bananas and berries work well in this recipe, but feel free to get creative and try other types of fruits. Make this fruit salad visually appealing and fun to eat by serving it inside a hollowed-out cantaloupe half and top it with a fresh sprig of mint.
Mexican Tortilla Roll
Top one whole wheat tortilla with 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup canned black beans and 1/4 cup finely chopped raw cauliflower. Heat the topped tortilla in the microwave for 20 seconds or until the cheese is melted. Roll the tortilla up to make a handheld Mexican tortilla roll snack that provides approximately one serving of whole grains, one serving of dairy and one-half serving of vegetables. By the way, don’t tell vegetable-phobic teens that there’s cauliflower in this recipe; the melted cheese hides the small cauliflower pieces and covers the taste.
Healthy Trail Mix
Combine 1 cup whole-grain toasted oat cereal, 1/2 ounce slivered almonds and 1/4 cup raisins to make a healthy trail mix that provides one serving each of grain, protein and fruit.
Colorful Cottage Cheese Veggie Spread
Combine 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 cup finely chopped raw carrots, 1/4 cup finely chopped raw red bell peppers, 1/4 tsp. dried dill, and salt and pepper to taste, to make a healthy veggie sandwich spread and vegetable dip. This colorful cottage cheese veggie spread recipe equals two servings of dairy and one serving of vegetables. Use this veggie spread as a dip for raw carrot and celery sticks, or use it in place of mayonnaise in sandwiches.
Open-Faced Turkey Veggie Sandwich
Top a piece of whole-wheat toast with a 2 tbsp. cottage cheese veggie sandwich spread (see Colorful Cottage Cheese Veggie Spread recipe), and a thick slice of turkey breast sandwich meat to make an open-faced sandwich that provides approximately one serving of grain, one serving of protein, one-fourth serving of dairy and one-fourth serving of vegetables.
- young girl eating big ripe juicy peach image by Paolo Frangiolli from Fotolia.com