Everyone knows that snacks are essential to a teen’s diet. Teens need snacks to help them throughout the day, whether in school or doing homework.
It’s hard for teens to stay away from junk food. Although it’s convenient, it’s not the best for their health. Teens need the energy to keep up with their busy schedules, and their bodies need healthy foods to fuel their busy lives.
Youth today are often taught to “snack smart” – making smart choices about what they eat and choosing healthy snacks instead of junk. But it’s hard to know what snack foods are healthy. This blog post will highlight healthy snacks for teens that are undoubtedly healthy and nutritious.
Healthy Nutrition Is Critical for Teenage Years
People grow the most throughout their teenage years (Story & Stang, 2005), except for the first year of life. This suggests that teens need a lot of nutrients to keep them growing. Any vitamin shortage can develop delayed sexual development, growth, or other health issues.
What Is Inside a Healthy Snack for Teen
A healthy snack is mainly made up of carbs and protein. Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for your body. They give you the energy you need to stay awake and active all day. Complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole grain foods, are delicious because they keep giving you energy for a long time. Protein helps repair your body’s cells and may help you feel full all day. The healthiest snacks for teenagers have about 200 calories (American Dietetics Association, 2014). Teens who are active or just finished working out might need a snack with 200 to 300 calories.
Healthy Snacks for Teens
1. Frozen Grapes
They’re sweet, with a slightly purple look, and cool to the touch—what’s not to like about frozen grapes? Frozen grapes are one of the healthiest foods because it is low in calories and packed with antioxidants.
Frozen grapes are rich in magnesium and copper, two minerals that enhance heart health. Add that together, and you get a cold, sweet snack that doubles as a heart-healthy snack. In other words, frozen grapes are one of the tastiest ways to hit all five components of a balanced and nutritious diet (fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals).
2. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables With Dip
Fruits and veggies are nutritious and the only snack that offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals. They are full of antioxidants that help secure the body against free radicals, substances that damage body cells.
In addition to being good for your health, fruits, and vegetables are delicious, and being tasty makes them more appealing than packaged foods that often contain fillers, preservatives, and other additives. Since good nutrition leads to a good mood, eating these foods will make you happy. You can have dips too, but make sure your teens focus on the greens.
3. Fruit Spreads Than Jelly
If your teenager has a sweet tooth, take home 100% fruit spreads rather than jam or jelly with added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Better still, provide fresh fruit such as apples, pears, and oranges.
4. Lite Popcorn
What could be simpler than throwing a bag of popcorn into a microwave? Popcorn is rich in fiber, making it an ideal snack so long as it is not smothered in butter or margarine.
You can pick less fat and salt products or get a microwave popcorn popper. Let your teen explore various spices that enhance taste without adding calories.
5. Whole Grain Pretzels
Whole-grain pretzels are a healthy option for snacking for teens.
Whole grains are beneficial because they are slow to digest, keeping you full longer, and have fewer calories.
Regular pretzels are manufactured with overly-processed white flour stripped of most of their fiber. Choose pretzels made from 100 percent whole grains that keep their fiber content. Try it with mustard. It’s an undeniable alternative to regular ones.
6. Store Your Trail Mix
Making your trail mix is an excellent way to satisfy your cravings, and it is easy! You will need raw or roasted nuts, dried fruits, unsweetened cereals, creamy dry fruits like shredded coconut, and seeds like pumpkin or chia seeds. Trail mix stays fresh and can fill up your stomach fast. Making your trail mix can also help you save money and eat healthier snacks.
7. Protein Bars
Protein bars are the best option to snack on something healthy. They can be eaten as a replacement for breakfast, or you can grab one when you are hungry between meals.
Protein bars are nutritional and tasty snacks you can take anywhere you go. Unlike other junk foods, these bars have low fat, no trans fat, and calories per serving. Some buy them to consume while working out to boost energy levels.
Teens need snacks to keep them energized while dealing with stressed-out workloads, sleep issues, peer pressure, and body changes. The superfood smoothies help trim and tone while replenishing essential vitamins and energy stores, especially between meals. Blending fruits and vegetables in a smoothie is a healthy and delicious alternative to junk food for a quick snack or meal.
Getting more fruits and vegetables is essential for health. Besides being delicious, the snacks contain vitamins and minerals that strengthen and replenish the body’s nourishing systems.
9. Hummus and Pita or Crackers
Hummus and Pita or Crackers is an excellent healthy quick snack. Hummus is a chickpea-based spread with tahini, lemon juice, and various seasonings, whereas the pita is usually made from either wheat or barley flour. When buying hummus, read the ingredients on the package because it is easy to find hummus processed with additives like bleached flour to give it more shelf life. To have a lower environmental impact, shop for hummus and pita in your area from your local farmers’ markets or get a recipe to make your hummus. You can even make your baguette and toast it for your kids to snack on for a more crunchy, delicious experience.
10. Healthy Beverages
Teens love to drink, but not water. Proper hydration is essential for good health, but teens consume more sweet beverages such as sodas, coffee, and energy drinks. The problem is that energy drinks are not entirely suitable for kids, caffeine can keep them from sleeping, and the extra sugar adds extra calories.
A proper diet should include about six to eight glasses of actual water per day (not juice, sports drinks, or coffee), specifically, 6 – 8 glasses of 6 ounces of water daily. Many teens drink and consume much more sugary beverages than they should. Be sure to stock up on healthy drinks like low-fat milk, sparkling water, plain iced water, and bottles of 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices.
Teenage is a very delicate stage of life. It’s the time when our bodies are changing; hormones are changing as well as our tastes. Teenagers today are busier than ever with school, extracurricular activities, and job responsibilities. Diet plays a big role in how our teens’ bodies grow and function.
We want to ensure that our teens get as much of the good stuff as possible, such as vitamins and minerals and all the energy for long days and active evenings. We hope this article gives you an idea of how to keep teens’ health up and stay healthy.