Sports dietician, Kristi Spence has healthy snacks and meal for options for teens-on-the-go.
After School Snacks:
Kids come home from school hungry, and if left without a plan can easily snack all the way until dinner. Plan after-school snacks and make them an event. Sitting down to a more formal snack is not only more fulfilling, but it is less likely to result in perpetual snacking.
– Fruit, yogurt & granola
– Cereal with milk and fruit
– Veggies with yogurt cucumber dip or hummus
– Toast with peanut butter and honey or a PB & J Sandwich
– Make your own trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, seeds, pretzels, crackers)
– Banana or apple with peanut butter
– Smoothie with milk, yogurt & frozen fruit
– Open-faced grilled cheese with tomato
– Oatmeal with fresh fruit added
– Bite-sized turkey or tuna sandwiches in mini pita pocket
At school Snacks (back-pack or locker:
– Make your own trail mix (dried fruit, nuts, seeds, pretzels, crackers)
– Granola bars (kashi, Clif Z-bars, Clif C-Bars)
– Shelf-stable milk
– Peanut butter packs to add to crackers, pretzels, whole fruit
– Fruit leather
– Graham crackers
Perishable (great additions to lunch during the winter)
– String cheese
– Cut fruit
– Cottage cheese
What can parents do?
As a parent, you are busy too – keeping a household, raising children, working etc. While most parents value proper and healthful nutrition for their kids, finding time to prepare fresh meals several times per day can present a challenge. There are some things you can do to keep your kids eating healthfully even when you don’t have time to cook and sit down as a family.
– Make extra when you do have time and freeze
o Burritos: whole wheat tortilla, beans, chicken, peppers, cheese – wrap in foil and freeze in zip-top freezer bags. When ready to use, reheat and top with fresh salsa.
o Pasta or rice dishes with chicken and veggies
o Homemade burgers – lean ground turkey or ground beef
o Whole grain fruit and nut muffins
o Homemade granola or energy bars
– Stock the pantry and the fridge with healthy options. As the “official gatekeeper” of the home (the person who does the grocery shopping and most of the meal preparation), you control 76% of what your children eat.
o Peanut butter, jelly and whole wheat bread
o Quesadillas with color!
– Whole wheat tortillas, fresh salsa, beans, sharp cheddar cheese (the extra flavor means we can use a bit less and have more room for other goodies in the tortilla)
o Fruit, yogurt & granola
o Less-sugary cereals and milk
o Hummus, yogurt dip, and cut veggies
o Whole wheat English muffins for English muffin pizzas
o Grilled cheese with turkey, tomato, and pesto
– Teach your kids some basic cooking skills
o How to use basic appliances (toaster oven, broiler, microwave, stove
o How to make pasta
– Set an example. The best way to encourage your kids to eat healthy is to eat healthfully yourself and model good behaviors.