Recently there has been an epidemic of overweight and obese teenagers. Due to the pressures of school, less time in the gym, and more screen time than ever before means that our teenagers are gaining more and more weight. Encourage your teenager to step away from their screens and get up and move. Being healthy does not have to be boring. Here are a few snacks that you can make for your teenager that still seems fun but will not contribute to their weight gain. You can also visit Analyze That for more information on how you can keep your teenager happy and healthy.
Quinoa Chicken Nuggets
If there is one thing that a teenager will never be able to say no to is a plate full of chicken nuggets and their favorite dipping sauce. Instead of using traditional breading for your teenager’s chicken nuggets, switch it out for quinoa. Not only is quinoa crispy and delicious but it is also packed with protein. To make these nuggets even healthier pop them in a tray in your oven instead of frying them.
Almond Crusted Salmon Sticks
What kid does not enjoy a good fish stick? Switch out the traditional white fish in fish sticks for salmon. Salmon is a great choice because it is packed with fatty acids that are essential for your teens growing brain. Dredge your fish sticks in a beaten egg and flaked almonds for a quick and delicious after-school lunch.
Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries
A universally favored treat for teenagers is most definitely fries. They are salty and satisfying, however, they are packed with unhealthy fats and carbs. Instead of making fries for your kids from potatoes, slice up a sweet potato and some carrots. Toss them in some olive oil, herbs and salt and bake until they are cooked and tender. Not only are these fries delicious but sweet potatoes are incredibly nutrient dense and easily digestible. This means that it will keep your blood sugars stable and give you sustained energy over a long period of time.
Loaded Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Few people will be able to believe that a grilled cheese sandwich can be healthy. However, when you add some avocado, spinach, and mushrooms and switch the white bread for a multigrain bread it becomes a smart lunch for your family. This sandwich will still be delicious, and your children will hardly even notice all of the veggies they are eating.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Most moms keep a box of mac and cheese in their pantries as an emergency dinner that is quick and delicious. Sadly, the standard box of mac and cheese is not very healthy. However, a few simple substitutions will make this winning meal a healthy option for your teenagers’ dinner. Use a good whole grain pasta, then instead of cooking your usual cheese sauce, add some pureed cauliflower to bulk up the sauce with hidden veggies.
Pizza is probably a treat in your home that your teenagers beg for. If you cook smartly you can make a pizza that your teenager can indulge in guilt-free. Use a whole-wheat pita and top it with some basil pesto, a few shavings of parmesan and some baby spinach.
Coconut and Quinoa Breakfast Bars
Teenagers are busy and will often claim not to have enough time to eat a healthy breakfast. Smart mothers keep a stash of healthy breakfast bars that their teenagers can grab while they are running out of the front door. Coconut and quinoa bars are great for your teenager because they are packed with healthy fats and proteins to keep their brains and bodies going all day long.
Cookie Dough Nice Cream
Nice cream is probably the best invention since sliced bread. Not only is it delicious but it will not cause your blood sugar to spike and it is relatively low in fat. Simply freeze a couple of ripe bananas. Then when your teenager is in the mood for a sweet treat you can blend up the bananas with a quarter cup of oats, a handful of raisins and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Then your teen can eat as much as they would like and put the rest back in the freezer for later.