Top 10 Healthy Snacks for Teens:
Snacks for Teens: Healthy snacks are hard to come by, especially if you’re looking for something quick and easy to eat on the go.
Whether you’re headed out with friends, running errands, or just need something to get you through the rest of your homework, nothing beats the satisfying crunch of eating the right snack—the one that isn’t full of processed sugars and artificial colors.
Check out these 10 healthy snacks for Teens, from fruit roll-ups to granola bars and everything in between, that your teen will be sure to love!
Nuts are a quick and nutritious way to curb hunger and give you protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Nut butters or an ounce of nuts are best when snacking because they contain fewer calories than if you were to eat a whole handful of nuts.
Avoid nuts that are covered in chocolate or caramel as they add unnecessary calories. Examples: pistachios, almonds, cashews, peanuts and macadamia nuts. Nuts may help you shed pounds faster than other snacks.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate about one-third cup of walnuts per day experienced a small weight loss over a 12-week period compared with people who didn’t eat any walnuts during that time frame.
When it comes to snacks, you can’t go wrong with fruit. A serving of fruit has about 90 calories and lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The best fruits are apples, oranges and bananas. Cut up your favorite fruits into small pieces to make it easier to eat a lot at once or dip in a low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese for an added punch of protein.
Fruit is also nice because if you get tired of eating it at one sitting, you don’t have to worry about having leftovers. (That said, parents should probably keep fruit out of reach from kids; a juicy apple can be as dangerous as a knife.)
3) Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate provides plenty of antioxidants and studies have shown that dark chocolate can help with weight loss. In one study, adults who ate 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily lost 2 pounds more than those who didn’t eat it (4).
The reason is because dark chocolate slows digestion, so you feel full longer. Dark chocolate also provides a boost in metabolism and helps your body better utilize fat stores.
Have a few squares after dinner to satisfy cravings while you watch TV or to munch on when you need something sweet late at night.
A perfect combination of both fruit and dairy makes yogurt with berries a good choice for teens trying to cut down on unhealthy snacks.
Keep it even healthier by making your own from scratch, or opt for low-fat versions to cut back on saturated fat. Greek yogurt is often lower in sugar than other varieties.
It’s also a source of calcium, which is essential not only in building strong bones, but also helping your brain function correctly and keeping your heart healthy.
In fact, several studies have shown that people who consume high amounts of calcium were less likely to die prematurely of cardiovascular disease than those who did not—so skip that candy bar and pick up some yogurt instead!
5) Whole Wheat Crackers or Pretzels
If you’re craving a salty crunch, nothing satisfies like whole-grain crackers or pretzels. The bonus is that they have no trans fats and only one gram of saturated fat per serving.
Look for varieties with added fiber—4 grams per ounce—for an extra nutritional boost. Try Triscuit, Kashi TLC Cinnamon Crackers, RyKrisp Original Multi-Grain Crackers, Ortega Whole Grain Scoops Low Sodium (70 calories each)
Popcorn is a very healthy snack. It is low in calories and has no saturated fat. It’s also super easy to make at home with microwave bags or a hot air popper. You can flavor it with a variety of things like cinnamon, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and so on.
If you eat popcorn often, you may want to consider investing in an air popper because they will save you money over time due to being much cheaper than microwave bags and being more healthy overall since there are less chemicals used when popping corn.
Make sure to measure out one cup of popcorn if you plan on eating it by itself or with butter.
7) Fruits with Peanut Butter
A perfect snack that’s portable, tasty and healthy. Mash 1 tablespoon of peanut butter with a fresh banana or apple. Wrap it in parchment paper and pop it in your purse or bag so you can take it anywhere you go.
For other great fruit-and-peanut combinations, try pear slices topped with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (just mix them together).
Pear halves filled with plain low-fat yogurt mixed with a tablespoon of natural chunky peanut butter; or apples dipped in 2 tablespoons of honey mixed with 1⁄2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of chunky peanut butter. Your teens will love these simple snacks!
8) Hummus and Veggies
Whip up a tasty hummus spread with a can of chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Cut up some fresh vegetables and dip away!
This snack is perfect for parties too—try serving it in a hollowed-out pita bread or baguette. One ounce of hummus provides 5 g of protein, which is more than half your daily requirement.
Beans are a source of fibre, iron and protein. They’re also incredibly versatile, whether you’re adding them to soup or salad, making hummus or simply eating them on their own.
For a quick snack, throw some cooked beans into a whole wheat pita pocket with veggies like cucumber and sprouts—you can even make grilled-cheese sandwiches using black bean-spread instead of regular mayo.
If they’re still out of reach (calorie-wise), check out brands like Eden Foods—they come in their own can without any extra salt or oil added.
10) Frozen Grapes
This is one of my favorite snacks to eat when I’m having a late night craving. First, take some green or red grapes and wrap them up in a paper towel. Then put them in your freezer overnight. In the morning, you’ll have perfect little frozen grapes you can munch on all day long.
They’re sweet like candy but only have about 60 calories! Make sure to throw these babies back into your freezer after eating them, so they don’t spoil over time.