Teens and their eating habits are often questionable; since there is a significant problem with obesity in the United States today, many parents are looking for methods that will encourage their teens to make healthier food choices. Today’s teenagers are seemingly less active than teens of yesteryear; video games encourage a sedentary lifestyle and many teens are engaging in less exercise and/or outdoor activities. Thus, a super healthy diet is more important than ever before and parents should encourage their teens to work toward a balance of exercise and healthy food consumption.
Teens tend to turn toward typical snack favorites like potato chips, colas, candy bars, and greasy, fried foods like French fries, frozen or pre-made pizza, and ice cream products. These items can be replaced with similar snacks that taste just as good or, in most cases, even better than the unhealthy snacks teens generally appreciate. Instead of potato chips a parent can offer banana chips; instead of colas parents can offer fruit juice, and instead of ice cream parents can supply their teenagers with frozen yogurt products. Candy bars can also be replaced with healthy granola bar snacks which are equally satisfying.
Parents may want to ration snacks so that a teenager doesn’t over-consume healthy snacks. Some teens just don’t know when to stop snacking and even too much of a healthy snack is not beneficial to the teen. In many instances, snacks can be placed in storage containers and bags and pre-prepared for teens so that they are already in the correct, healthy, consumable portions. By getting snacks prepared in advance, the teen will appreciate the fast access he or she has to quick, healthy snacks.
When teens come home from a hard day in school, they are often hungry and looking for a snack to hold them over until it is time for dinner. This time is an excellent time for parents to encourage their teens to choose healthy food selections. There are a variety of super fast snacks that teens are sure to appreciate and such snacks place little drain on a parent’s wallet. Let’s take a look at some healthy snacks below.
If a parent has a hot air popcorn popper, snack time can prove fun and hassle free. Hot air popcorn poppers allow for the parents/teens to make a healthy snack that is not made with oils and fatty ingredients. The popcorn can then be mixed with other healthy snacks like nuts, almonds, dried fruits, and/or raisins, too. The latter snack is perfect for on the go teens as well: it can be placed in a large sandwich bag and toted anywhere.
An afternoon icy treat is also something that teens can appreciate. A mix of berries with a selection of plain low fat yogurt, some ice, and a bit of honey for sweetening can give the teen a super fast smoothie for an afternoon snack. If the teen doesn’t care for berries, there are plenty of other fruits that will work equally well.

Robin Reichert is an AFPA Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. She has been studying natural health, wellness, nutrition, and physical fitness for over 10 years and holds an MS in Natural Health from Clayton College. She is also an AFPA Certified Personal Trainer. Her passion is to educate and empower people to take charge of their health and fitness. To learn more, please visit Robin’s Wellness Resource Center at http://www.wellness-bee.com

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