Healthy Snacks for Hungry Youngster

Youngsters need consistent nutrient-dense meals and snacks to fuel their growing bodies.

Adolescents undergo a period of rapid growth and development that requires optimal intake of both macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Plus, proper nutrition may help teens excel in academic and athletic pursuits (1Trusted Source).

Yet, many popular snacks are high in refined grains, added sugars, and other ingredients that should be limited in teenagers’ diets (5Trusted Source).

All the same, a variety of wholesome snacks can be purchased premade or easily made from scratch.

Here are 40 healthy snacks for hungry teens.

1–5. Quick, homemade snacks

Many homemade snack recipes are time-consuming, but the following can be prepared in just minutes and provide numerous nutrients.

1. Apple and nut butter sandwiches

Nut butter and apple is a delicious and filling combo. Have your teen spread their favorite nut butter between sliced apple rounds for a fiber- and protein-rich snack.

You can roll the edges in hemp seeds, chia seeds, or chopped nuts for extra crunch.

2. Cashew, almond, cherry, and dark chocolate trail mix

Trail mix is an easy, super healthy snack. You or your teen can mix creamy cashews, crunchy almonds, and chewy dried cherries with dark chocolate chips for an irresistible combination.

Notably, these ingredients are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that teens need for optimal health.

Find the recipe here.

3. Hummus jars

Hummus is a filling dip made from chickpeas. It’s packed with fiber, magnesium, folate, manganese, healthy fats, and protein (7Trusted Source).

Layer the bottom of a Mason jar with a few scoops of hummus, then fill the jar with sliced veggies like carrots, cucumber, celery, and zucchini for a nourishing snack.

4. Mozzarella and cherry tomato skewers

Although teens have an increased need for calcium to support their growing bodies, inadequate teen calcium intake is a common issue, especially among teenage girls (8).

Skewers of whole milk mozzarella balls and juicy tomatoes are not only loaded with calcium but also healthy fats, protein, and lycopene — a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes that’s associated with numerous health benefits (9Trusted Source).

5. Bento snack boxes

Bento boxes are food containers with several compartments to keep snacks separated. They allow your teen to mix and match their favorite foods.

Fill a bento box with a variety of foods rich in fiber, healthy fats, and protein. For example, pair a hard-boiled egg with veggie sticks, fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, and guacamole.

6–10. Homemade snacks to make ahead of time

If you have a bit more time to spare, try out the following teen-friendly recipes.

6. Apple and almond butter overnight oats

Overnight oats are prepped ahead of time so your teen can eat them right away. You can make snack-sized portions by using small 4-ounce (118-mL) Mason jars.

This particular recipe is easy to prepare and combines nutritious ingredients like apples, almond butter, oats, and yogurt.

7. Chocolate no-bake energy bites

Chocolatey snacks are a teen favorite.

Unlike most chocolate treats, these chocolate no-bake energy bites are packed with healthy ingredients like oats, dates, cashews, and almond flour to keep your teen energized between meals.

Find the recipe here.

8. Peanut butter and jelly chia pudding

Chia seeds are loaded with nutrients that teens need, including protein, healthy fats, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus (10Trusted Source).

This peanut butter and jelly chia pudding recipe combines antioxidant-rich wild blueberries with creamy peanut butter and uses coconut milk so it’s safe for kids who need to avoid dairy.

9. Veggie, cheese, and egg muffins

Egg muffins are a smart choice for a make-ahead snack. Store these protein-packed muffins in the fridge or freezer so your teen can reheat them as needed.

Find the recipe here.

10. Copycat RXBARs

RXBARs are made with minimal ingredients, and they’re many teens’ favorite granola bar. If you want to save money, try making your own at home.

Find the recipe here.

11–15. High protein snacks

Protein-rich snacks can help your teen stay full between meals. Because this nutrient helps build muscle and maintain optimal health, it’s especially important for teenage athletes, who need more protein than non-active teens (4Trusted Source).

Some research indicates that teens’ protein needs are 20–60% greater than adults’ due to the increased protein demand of growth and development (12Trusted Source).

The following snacks provide a rich source of protein.

11. Deviled eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, as well as healthy fats and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Deviled eggs are a tasty way to boost your teen’s protein intake.

This healthy deviled egg recipe uses Greek yogurt.

12. Greek yogurt parfait with fruit, nuts, and chia seeds

You or your teen can make a tasty, protein-packed parfait by layering a Mason jar with full fat Greek yogurt, fresh berries, chopped nuts, and chia seeds. Greek yogurt packs 15 grams of protein per 6-ounce (170-gram) serving (13Trusted Source).

13. Tuna and cheddar lunch box bites

If your teen enjoys seafood, give these tuna and cheddar bites a try. Tuna is an excellent source of highly absorbable protein and provides omega-3 fats, which are important for teens’ brain development and function (14Trusted Source).

Find the recipe here.

14. Edamame, chickpea, and feta salad

This tasty salad is packed with plant-based protein and makes a perfect choice for vegetarian teens. Plus, the feta adds a boost of calcium and healthy fat.

Find the recipe here.

15. Chicken salad with apple, cranberry, and walnuts

This filling chicken salad combines protein-packed chicken with apples, dried cranberries, and walnuts for a savory and sweet snack. It’s great served on apple rounds or with crackers or celery sticks.

Find the recipe here.

The Take Away

Teenagers need proper nutrition to fuel their growing bodies. Snacks for teens should focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that provide the macro- and micronutrients your teen needs for optimal health.

If you’re running low on nutritious snack ideas, have your teen try out one of the recipes — or buy one of the packaged options — listed above.

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