Contending with near-insatiable appetites and action-packed schedules can be a challenge for teens, and it can be tempting to reach for quick fixes in the form of refined carbohydrates and sugar-laden snacks. But it doesn't have to be that way – having a stash of healthy snacks on hand can be especially useful when hunger strikes between meals.
Quick and easy healthy snack ideas
- Keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for protein, or try making a frittata with added veg for them to graze on throughout the day.
- Whizz up some homemade hummus, guacamole or tzatziki and keep a good supply of chopped veggies that they can dip into.
- Cooked meats such as turkey, chicken and ham make a tasty topping for crackers.
- Slices of apple can be topped with peanut butter or thin slices of cheese.
- Keep a big bowl of mixed fruit salad in the fridge – keep things interesting with mango, pineapple, peaches, grapes, kiwi, melon and strawberries.
Read on for our top 10 healthy snack recipes that teenagers will love...
1. Rosemary, garlic & chilli popcorn
Popcorn is a teen favourite, and with good reason – it's the perfect accompaniment to a movie night but is equally as delicious packed up in a storage container for an on-the-go nibble. Try this savoury flavour combination for a low-sugar option – we've used garlic and rosemary, and you can vary the chilli levels to please your teenager's palate.
2. Nutty chicken satay strips
Protein is crucial for busy teens, and can be particularly important for those that play sport to help repair muscles and build strength. We've used chunky peanut butter and curry powder to add plenty of flavour to lean chicken breast fillets. This recipe will last for two days in the fridge and taste as good cold as they do hot.
3. Smoky veggie nachos
This sharing platter of nachos is still a super-healthy option – and as it serves six, the whole family will be able to tuck in! This Mexican-inspired dish provides folate, fibre and vitamin C, along with plenty of flavour. We've opted to top paprika-sprinkled crispy tortillas with black beans, charred peppers, and a fresh tomato and avocado salsa. Delicious.
4. Egg & rocket pizzas
Eggs are a filling, plant-based source of protein – ideal for veggie teens. In this recipe, we've used seeded tortilla wraps as cheat's pizza bases, topped with a simple tomato and pepper sauce and an egg, cracked into the centre – it makes for a lovely light lunch or substantial snack, and is easy enough for teenagers to make for themselves.
5. Avocado hummus & crudités
This super-colourful snack is an excellent option to have on standby – and it's suitable for vegan teens and those following gluten-free diets, too. Whizz up avocado with chickpeas, garlic, lime juice and chilli for a creamy hummus that's ready in minutes. When served with crunchy vegetables for dipping, one portion packs in all five of your five-a-day – now that's what we call a healthy snack!
6. Ultimate tomato salsa
Only have five minutes? No problem. This speedy salsa combines tomatoes, red onions, garlic, white wine vinegar, lime and coriander to make a delicious dip that you can store in the fridge. Serve with crunchy crudités or toasted pitta bread – opt for wholemeal for a gut-friendly fibre boost.
7. Tuna niçoise protein pot
This protein-packed snack pot of tuna, green beans and hard boiled eggs delivers 30g of protein per serving – perfect for your teen to tuck into after playing sports or participating in intense exercise. Save time on busy days by making it ahead – you can store in the fridge for up to two days.
8. Indian oven chips
Spice up your snack with these Indian-style potato wedges, flavoured with turmeric, ginger, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper and oven-baked until crisp and golden. If you wanted to bump up the fibre to create a more filling snack, leave the potato skins on.
9. Instant frozen berry yogurt
This frozen treat looks deceptively impressive, but in reality takes only three ingredients and two minutes to make – perfect for a fuss-free snack or healthy dessert. Stash some mixed frozen berries in the freezer to keep on hand for when your teen's hunger strikes – simply whizz up with some Greek yogurt and sweeten to taste with honey or agave syrup.
10. Healthy banana bread
This low-fat loaf not only tastes great, but uses up those overripe bananas in your fruit bowl. We've used a blend of self-raising and wholemeal flour to increase the fibre content while keeping the texture light, and topped with chopped nuts for extra texture (you can leave these out if you'd prefer). It's a satisfying snack any teen will love – and it's easy enough for them to have a go at making themselves!
What are your family's favourite healthy snacks? Let us know below...