Almost overnight, your healthy, normal child has turned into a ravenous teenager who spends almost every minute rummaging through the refrigerator, looking for something to snack on. If you haven’t already, teach your teenager about the importance of choosing healthy snacks over sugary, salty or fatty ones and how to properly portion her snacks so that she doesn’t eat too much.
Homemade Mini Bagel Pizza
A lot of frozen pizza snacks are targeted to teenagers. Most of those snacks have unhealthy ingredients, such as partially hydrogenated oil made of trans fats, and artificial cheeses. Your teenager can whip up his own mini pizza snacks at home using much more wholesome ingredients. Keep a bag of whole-wheat mini bagels on hand as well as a jar of pasta or pizza sauce and some shredded low-fat cheese. Your teenager can top the bagel with a dollop of sauce and cheese and cook in a toaster oven until the cheese melts. Pre-make several bagel pizzas and freeze so that they’re ready to go after a quick reheat in the oven.
Peanut Butter and . . .
Some teenagers may tell you that peanut butter is the best food in the world. You can pair peanut butter with practically any other food and have a delicious snack or meal. Try giving your teenager sliced apples or bananas with a dollop of peanut butter or carrots and celery and peanut butter. If your teenager loves chocolate, provide organic peanut butter and dark chocolate cups for her as an occasional snack. Simple peanut butter toast is almost always a winner too.
Make your own trail mix for your teenager to snack on after school or on the weekend. Combine one cup of mini pretzels, a handful of nuts such as almonds, pecans or peanuts, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries or raisins, 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal such as toasted oat rings or puffed corn in a bowl. Add a handful of candy-coated chocolate pieces for a bit of sweetness. Divide into 1/2-cup portions and place in small plastic bags or plastic containers.
Quick to make, tasty and healthy too, popcorn is a great snack for teenagers. Bypass the microwave varieties that are full of trans fat and artificial ingredients and find the organic and natural varieties. Invest in an air popping machine, which will produce popcorn free of added salt and fat. Your teenager can add a bit of butter or salt if she wishes. For a bit of zing, try sprinkling Parmesan cheese on the popcorn.