Healthy Snacks for Teens
Betcha Can't Eat Just One!
Even when you choose healthy snacks, it can be hard to limit your snack
portions. That's especially true when you get home from school and are ready to
devour anything that's not moving!
To control portions, measure one serving of your snack the night before and
put this in a zipper plastic sandwich bag. Then your pre-measured, packaged
snack will be ready when you get home.
For example, you could put 1 cup of your favorite whole- grain cereal in the
plastic bag and leave it out on the kitchen counter. When you get home, pour
the cereal into a bowl and top it with fruit and low-fat milk. Or put five
whole-grain crackers in your sandwich bag. The next afternoon, grab a string
cheese out of the fridge and enjoy your snack.
You can also take your snack bag to school with you, if you're staying late
for sports or clubs. It's better to know what you're eating (trail mix, cheese
and crackers, or almonds and dried cranberries) and than to impulse-snack from
the vending machine or fast food restaurants.
What Foods Are Best?
The best snacks include complex carbohydrates, low-fat dairy, and low-fat
Complex carbohydrates. Good choices include fruits, vegetables,
whole grains, beans, and legumes, hummus, and edamame ( steamed Japanese
Low-fat dairy products. Good choices include low-fat milk, yogurt,
cheese, cottage cheese.
Low-fat protein. Good choices include lean chicken, turkey or
What Foods Do I Watch Out For?
Avoid refined carbohydrates, foods that are high in sugar and white flour.
Limit white potatoes (or chips), sweets, candy, sugary drinks, and pastries.
These foods can cause your blood sugar to spike rapidly, which may trigger a
hunger attack when it falls again.
Also stay away from expensive "power bars." If you look at the
label, you'll see most protein bars, energy bars, and sports bars are just
candy bars in disguise (they've added a few vitamins). Most power bars are high
in calories, too.