by Aprel Phelps-Downey
Navigating life with a teenager can be tricky, especially when they are dealing with anxiety. You never quite know the reaction you’ll get to something you say. Keeping enough food in the house to satisfy that ever-growing teenager appetite seems to be impossible as well. You know first-hand that when your teenager is hungry, food needs to appear as quickly as possible to avoid an episode of eye rolling and door slamming. One way to avoid this from happening is having nutritional and tasty snacks on hand.
You should start by reducing the amount of junk food you keep at home. Although tasty, these snack items are often loaded with sugar and offer little to no nutritional value for your teenager. When they do eat junk food, it will leave them feeling sluggish and opens the door to skin issues and mood swings. Give them a better snack option by having a bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen that they can easily grab when heading out the door.
Here are five additional snacks ideas that your teen is sure to love as well.
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1. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a great way to build up proper nutritional habits with your teenager. Start by adding 1 cup each of two different whole grain cereal to a mixing bowl. Add in 1 cup of a nut mixture that your teenager likes and continue adding in different nut varieties to the bowl.
Nuts give your teenager a great source of selenium, which works to reduce the inflammation that often arises when dealing with stress and anxiety. Finish off your trail mix with a handful of raisins, dried fruit or chocolate chip pieces for a delicious and healthy food for teens.
2. Yogurt Parfait
Yogurt is an anti-inflammatory food that can help relieve anxiety and focusing issues with your teenager. It also works great as a snack for teens, especially when made into a delicious parfait. You can easily add any type of berry, sliced peaches or crunchy whole grain cereal to a cup of yogurt. That spices up the taste and turns plain yogurt into a tasty treat that your teen can enjoy any time of day.
3. Hard Boiled Eggs
The key to a healthy snack is easy preparation. Hard-boiled eggs fit the bill while providing a ready-made snack for teens to enjoy. You simply hard boil a few eggs, peel the shells when ready and serve. By themselves, eggs offer a healthy dose of protein, which promotes serotonin production in the body. Your teenager will benefit by receiving a natural way to regulate their sleep pattern and boost their mood, all of which works to reduce feelings of anxiety and improve cognitive functioning.
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4. Popcorn with Mixed Nuts
Teenagers love popcorn, mostly because it’s easy to eat without sitting still. Start by making a bag of popcorn and placing it in a bowl. You can then add mixed nuts or dried fruit to the bowl and stir the mixture to combine all the ingredients. For an added touch, you can drizzle some melted dark chocolate on the top of the popcorn mixture. The nuts and dark chocolate work together to ease your teenager’s anxiety by releasing selenium and magnesium in their body.
5. Corn Chip Nachos
Corn chips by themselves serve as a great base to healthy snacks for teens. You can serve up this snack plain with just the chips or turn it into a nacho dish by adding avocado, black-eyed peas, and tomatoes. Top the snack off by adding a dash of turmeric to the dish. Turmeric reduces inflammation and oxidative stress levels, which are often present when your teenager experiences anxiety.
While you can’t control everything your teen experiences, these five snack ideas give you a good place to start in helping them develop healthy nutritional habits. Many of these ideas work great for a group as well, which means your home may become the go-to place for your teenager and their friends to hang out. Combine these snack ideas with helping them get an adequate amount of sleep each night and you just might survive those trying teenage years after all.
Aprel Phelps Downey is a brand storyteller, author, and writer, specializing in small business marketing services. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of South Florida. She resides in Eastern Tennessee with her husband and daughter.