If you’re a teen or the parent of one, its critical to have healthy snacks around for this critical period of growth. For our recommendations, check out today’s post!
The moment you get back home after a tiring day at school, what’s the first thing you do? Raid your refrigerator? It’s common for most teens to grab for something delicious in the refrigerator and gulp it down, regardless of how unhealthy it may be. At this critical time of human growth, hormones cause huge appetites. While healthy eating habits are important from a young age, it the teenage years, it’s even more important that you eat right. This means enough protein to support muscle growth, enough carbs for physical activity, and healthy fats to fuel your brain. So the question is, what’s the best way to get these critical macro-nutrients into the daily diet of a growing teen.
The answer? Healthy snacks. We all get hungry. But having healthy snacks around in between meals helps us get the nutrients we need, and avoid eating junk food.
Today we’ll hone in on healthy snacks for teens, but don’t worry they’re safe for adult use as well. If you’re looking for ways to avoid impulse eating, we can help you with that today as well!
Snack And Weight Issues
It shouldn’t surprise you that chips, cookies, pizza, fries, ice creams and other junk food is bound to lead to weight gain. The fact is, the hormones that are active during puberty and growing of the human body can cause huge hunger impulses.
The real problem occurs when you don’t eat anything for say five or six hours. When you get really hungry, that’s when you get impulsive. This is why you will find a lot of nutritionists asking you to eat smaller meals but at frequent intervals.
Doing this helps in keeping your body’s blood sugar levels stable. When your brain gets a steady supply of glucose, it will prevent mood swings as well and thereby lessen your odds of going on a food binge.
The Good And Bad About Snacking
One of the best ways to keep your weight in check is of course eating right. When you’re eating healthy snacks in between meals, it will help your body in more ways than one.
Long periods without eating increase your impulsiveness towards food and put you at risk of making regrettable food decisions.
If you are one who finds it hard to keep track of your meals, try keeping a list of healthy foods in your backpack. This can be printed and stuck to your refrigerator as well. Doing this will ensure that every time you have the urge to eat, you will be able to keep it under check because your eating list should give you some inspiration to stick to your goals.
If you’re playing sports and are trying to build muscle, it’s even more important that you eat enough protein to support muscle growth.
Further, you should try and explain your eating goals to your parents as well. Doing so is going to reap a lot of benefits because you’re raising consciousness in your family about being healthy.
Parents should be supportive of and guide you in the right direction. If not, you can be the one to guide them. You can be the one who helps make healthy snacks for the house. When you have people who are willing to stand by your side and assist you in following healthy eating habits, you will find it easier to quit unhealthy food.
Eat Healthy Snacks More Often
In order to ensure that you are eating in a controlled manner, you should try and measure your snacks beforehand. When you pre-measure quantity of snacks, the odds of over-eating over eating is naturally going to be less.
If you are looking to strategize healthy snacks for teens, we’ve got plenty of meals you can use. We even have some advice if you want to make bacon healthy.
There are some meals that won’t add to a lot of nutrients but at the same time, they will fill your stomach. These can be of use when you just feel the urge to snack but have already eaten plenty. However, if you’re underweight, you’ll want to build a list of easy mass-building meals.
Which Foods Are The Best Healthy Snacks for Teens?
When it comes to healthy snacks for teens, the best options include complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and natural fats.
The complex carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes and even whole grains as well. As far as low fat dairy products, go for things like yogurt, cottage cheese and low fat milk as well. Lean cuts of steak, chicken, fish and turkey are great lean proteins.
Also, nuts and avocados are full of healthy natural fats that are critical for your brain’s performance in school or at work. You may also have heard how eating fat boosts your metabolism.
One of the best foods to have around are hard boiled eggs which are packed full of all of the above. The macro-nutrient value of organic eggs makes them one of the most nutritious snacks to whip up.
When you have a healthy body, you will have greater attention and focus. So, the best healthy snacks for teens address both the need to support healthy growth, and brain performance for school and work.
Maybe you’re playing sports and you need to build muscle fast, then you’re going to also want to make sure that you have a clean whey protein supplement to drink after workouts. Getting up to a gram of protein per pound of body weight is necessary to build muscle.
If you need help with post workout snacks, you’re in luck. We have a long list of our favorite post-workout snacks.
What Unhealthy Foods Should Teens Avoid?
When you are looking to live a healthy life, you have to be sure that you are eating right. There are a lot of different types of food that you should avoid. The fact is, some foods help us, some hurt us.
Foods that are rich in sugar and white flour or refined carbohydrates are the best to avoid. You should not eat too many white potatoes or sugary drinks. When the blood sugar levels are extremely high, it is only going to trigger the hunger attack. This will lead to food cravings and you may end up going on a snacking binge.
Healthy Snack Recipes for Teens
Here I am going to offer you some suggestions regarding healthy snacks for teens that will help in regulating your weight and at the same time, supporting muscle activity and growth. Don’t forget your brain either!
It is important to be mindful of your weight because obesity is the root cause of different medical ailments. So, when you are on the lookout for healthy snacks for teens, here are a few snacks you can use to fuel your day. Some of them can be pre-packed a night before, helping you save precious time.
- Take apple slices and spread them with peanut butter. If you prefer, you can sprinkle them with raisins for even more delicious taste.
- Bean burger made with whole grain bun and topped with tomato and lettuce is a healthy option.
- Cheese toast. Ideally, low fat cheese or cottage cheese should be used to keep the calories low.
- Bean burrito.
- Banana sliced evenly along with peanut butter.
- Chopped vegetable salad with low fat ranch dressing.
- Oatmeal blended with strawberries. Ideally, low fat milk should be used for preparation of oatmeal.
- Popcorn without butter. Try parmesan cheese on it.
- Steamed Japanese soybeans (edamame).
- Black bean dip with whole grain crackers.
- Yogurt along with chopped walnuts. Ideally, use low fat yogurt to keep your calories in check.
- Red grapes along with string cheese.
- Tuna sandwich made using whole grain bread.
- Protein shake with kale and banana.
- Veggie pizza. This is going to add a lot of calories but is extremely tasty and still gets some vegetables into your diet.
- Low fat cheese sandwich made using whole grain bread. Couple the sandwich with turkey, lettuce and tomato.
- Rice cakes with a spread of peanut butter.
- Small bagel along with cream cheese.
- English muffin made using whole grain and with peanut butter spread lightly over it.
- Vegetable soup along with whole grain crackers.
- Trail mix.
- A mix of almonds, blueberries and dried cranberries.
- Hummus spread on whole wheat pita.
- Seasoned avocado and whole grain crackers.
These are just few of the different choices you have. Teenagers in particular tend to get bored when they are eating the same kind of meals. So keep options on hand! When you add variety, but maintain the healthy points of of your eating plan, this will help you avoid impulse eating.
So, when you are looking to find the best healthy snacks for teens, try these tips. And don’t forget, you must exercise. No matter what you’re eating, you must exercise. Remember that. Eating right is part of the battle and healthy snack recipes will help you stay on track. But at the end of the day, if you’re not getting an hour of activity per day, your health will suffer! Even if you don’t have a gym, you can get fit at home. So get active, get eating right, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy adulthood.