If you’re wondering what types of snacks to stock up on, don’t pull the same grab-and-go attitude as your teen does every time he opens the fridge doors. The trick to getting him to eat healthy snacks is to make them super convenient and visible, while eliminating high-calorie, low-nutrient junk foods from the equation. You don’t want your teen filling up on junk; you want him fueling his body with healthy meals and snacks so he doesn’t crash halfway through the day.
When you’re shopping for snack foods for the fridge, you can’t forget the grain group. According to Harvard School of Public Health, healthy carbohydrates help provide much-needed nutrients, energy and fuel for a growing teenage body. If you only stock up on whole grain options, you’ll get a more nutritious bang for your buck. Whole grain breads, pita bread, English muffins, bagels and tortillas make a convenient base for a sandwich, wrap or quesadilla. Storing breads in the freezer section of your fridge will give them a longer shelf life. Refrigerated tortillas also last longer than if they’re left at room temperature.
Protein is needed to help your teen build, maintain and replace bodily tissues, according to KidsHealth. Pre-sliced deli meat can be stacked high to make a sandwich or eaten right out of the container. Hummus and bean dip are healthy dippers for multigrain tortilla chips and veggie sticks. You can spread peanut butter and other nut butters on some whole grain bread and celery sticks, or even make a peanut butter and banana smoothie.
Fruits and Veggies
The key to getting your teen to snack on fruits and veggies is to make them as convenient, visible and appealing as you can. Baby carrots, pre-cut celery sticks, cucumber slices, broccoli florets and apple slices in snack-size plastic bags are grab-and-go options. If you have low-fat ranch or hummus, you can portion some out into small re-sealable plastic containers to make them more convenient.
Dairy and Non-Dairy Alternatives
Dairy does a teenage body good. Cheese sticks, slices of cheese and tubes of yogurt appeal to the teen crowd. Don’t settle for the small cartons of milk when you have a teen in the house; go for the gallon-size jugs of 1 percent or non-fat milk. Vitamin-fortified soy, almond, hemp, coconut and rice milk are healthy, yet tasty, non-dairy alternatives.