I need some ideas- PLEASE- about healthy snack ideas and quick, ready-to-go breakfast foods. My 16 DS is eating us out of house and home, especially now that summer is here. I'm careful to choose relatively healthy foods and try to limit processed crap, but snack items are the area where I completely fall flat.
My son is genuinely hungry and has grown more than 12 " over the last year. He is truly a bottomless pit! What can I stock up on to keep him in somewhat healthy snacks? We live in the boonies, so I try to make a grocery store run every 2-3 weeks. We need to be mindful of the budget and our local shopping options for produce are mighty limited and pricey. I will buy items like grapes and bananas when I do the big shopping trip, but it seems like they are consumed within the afternoon!
I bake and cook from scratch for almost all of our meals, but it is tiring to back a double batch of muffins, cookies, etc... and have them inhaled as soon as they are out of the oven.
Here's what I am currently try to have on hand for snacks, but I am not keeping pace with my son (and whatever friends)-
Goldfish (or similar) crackers
Popcorn (to air pop)
For drinks, I keep plain brewed iced tea in the fridge and will occasionally make lemonade. No soda or drink mix stuff. Milk and water, but we don't do fruit juices so much either. If my son had his way, I would spend college savings on Gatorade.
Also need ideas for grab and go breakfasts....I try to make and freeze waffles, pancakes, muffins etc... but they go SOO FAST and we always have eggs for quick breakfast sandwiches.
Basically it all boils down to me not wanting to cook/bake ALL the time, but still keep decent, filling snacks. Oh, and not break the bank.
Would adding more protein help?
* Hard-boiled eggs
* Tostadas with refried beans (I don't know how common Mexican ingredients are in your area) or tortilla chips with bean dip
* Peanuts or homemade trail mix (or add to popcorn)
* Some sort of salad to keep in the fridge - pasta salad, rice salad, potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad - with some protein
* Toast with peanut butter
* Pizza bread
Hope that helps a little!
PS At 16, he could make all of those himself to relieve you of some of the cooking duties.
Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (15) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"
Thank you! All your suggestions are terrific and things we do eat on a regular basis....but not necessarily things I offer for snacks.
The point about adding protein is well taken. After you mentioned it, I noticed how lacking our usual snack rotation is in protein. Making some protein-rich items (like bean dip/nuts) more readily/obviously available for 'snacking' is a great idea. He also loves anything with a spicy kick and the Mexican options can help to steer him away from some of the sweet treats he gravitates towards.
You're also right on the money about my DS being able to help (and clean up after!) himself. He's pretty good about that already, but it's another good reminder for me!
I so appreciate the suggestions. Thanks for weighing in!
Some of our ideas: eggs-hard boiled, scrambled with cheese or deviled. We have hens, so this is a pretty easy snack for us. Tortillas with beans, salsa, cheese, and anything else that works, such as left over chicken, ground beef, etc. I just throw them in the oven. If I make popcorn, I find it is far more filling if I use coconut oil as the oil. Whole wheat noodles with peanut sauce-you can add any steamed veggies to these. Whole wheat waffles made into a sandwich with nutella (sorry-not healthy, but essentially a food group in our home).
I usually crack eggs into my muffin tin (one egg in each spot) & bake them for 10 minutes or so - then I dump them into a container in the fridge so they're cooked & ready to grab for a sandwich/salad/taco/whatever. I also like to grill up several chicken breasts or pork chops & keep some in the fridge & some in the freezer ready to go. Mine like quesadillas & they're really quick & easy for them to make in a nonstick pan for themselves. They also like leftovers like spaghetti or rice dishes so I try to make big batches when I cook for dinner & then portion it out leftovers in the fridge. We've recently started making flatbreads on the grill too. Another snack they like is cooked chickpeas, tossed in olive oil, salt, cumin, chili powder & a bit of cayenne, then toasted in the oven.
GREAT ideas everyone! I appreciate the idea of DS needing 6 meals vs. snacks....so true and a more realistic way to think of what he is consuming on a daily basis. Planning for & cooking meals to have more leftovers makes a lot of sense.
Thanks, I needed the perspective!
I also stopped thinking in terms of stricter definitions of what foods are to be eaten when, and we're happier for it. For instance, my pre-teen girl and I don't like many breakfast foods, so we frequently eat leftovers for breakfast. Snacks are usually snacky, but she also eats things like pasta for a snack. The six meals thing is good to remember - thanks!
Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (15) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"
I always have beans in the fridge and my 2 teens love to make nachos (chips, beans, salsa/avocado, sometimes olives). My 14 year old makes egg salad for a snack and eats it in lettuce leaves or on toast. Dinner leftovers are eaten for snacks or breakfast by my 18 year old.
DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8 11/10 4/11
DD: 3 8/11
I don't have a teen boy, so can't offer the great perspective that the other moms here have, but I'm wondering if he needs more fat in addition to more protein (and sheer quantity). I remember when I was nursing and consuming an enormous amount of calories that high butterfat quality ice cream was my friend. I ate that stuff like it was going out of style! I know at our local mainstream grocery stores they often do 2 for 1 specials on different brands of ice cream. Maybe pick up 10 gallons next time you go to the store?
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
Most of these posts give the same ideas as I would have in terms of what you can provide for him. One thing I think of in terms of giving him fruits and veg is using frozen items - but they can be expensive, so maybe part of the exercise could be having him help budget for food and understand lower cost items that give the same result (chips are expensive, pita chips made from stale pitas are not).
Maybe one thing to look at is how he can help make foods for himself. Can he scramble an egg, or make those muffins? There are lots of recipes available on-line with fantastic instructions.
That made me think of scrambled egg muffins... I make them for DH. They usually include cheese (we use almond cheese), you can add meat of some sort if you eat that, chopped veggies, etc, then you bake them in muffin tins. Very portable, high protein, freezable too. Google and you will find a ton of variations/recipes.
DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8 11/10 4/11
DD: 3 8/11
I don't assign foods to a certain time of day. I hate "breakfast food" for breakfast personally and am more likely to enjoy soup or some other leftover item.
bean burritoes- you could make these in advance and frozen but they are pretty fast and easy to put together if you already have refried beans and tortillas. I think the beans are pretty filling. I mix beans with meat for taco filling to help stretch it out farther.
breakfast burritoes- a little more work but they also could be made ahead and frozen
raw veggies and hummus... you could also use hummus as a sandwich spread
chickpeas, edamame or peas
nuts & sunflower seeds
hard boiled eggs/deviled eggs
apples with yogurt or peanut butter dip
dried plums (prunes)
cereal (low sugar, higher fiber kind)
For drinks we have milk, juice and water... but mostly water.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
I just thought of something my 14 year old really likes to have around as an easy after-school snack that is filling and cheap. I boil up a big box of whole wheat pasta, then toss it with a little olive oil so it doesn't clump, and store it in the fridge in a container or ziploc. When she wants a bowl, she just heats some up with a little butter and parmesan, or pesto, or any other sauce we have in the fridge. She often heats it up with a handful of frozen peas and carrots, and occasionally I steam broccoli and keep it in the fridge too so she can throw that in with the pasta.
I know she could just boil up some pasta each time she wants it, but this way is a lot faster with less daily cleanup, so she's more likely to grab it for herself (I don't know about you, but around here when she's hungry she tends to reach for the easiest tasty item, which is sometimes not the best choice for a balanced snack).
Hi, I have two teen/tween boys, both of whom are adult-male sized. Snacks in our frig right now:
* large bowl of boiled red and yellow potatoes -- grab and go
* large pot of cooked brown rice -- they eat cold or heat up and one will put terriyaki sauce on it
* apples, carrots
If they don't want any of those snacks, they can make popcorn or toast or peanut-butter on celery.
That's pretty much it. They can help themselves to an unlimited amount of food, but only
healthy-cheap options are available. Their dad cooks a huge pot of oatmeal every morning.
I fix lunch and dinner -- large full-plate or multi-plate meals -- where I make sure that they get
5 fruits each and 8-10 servings of vegetables every day along with whole grains and protein at each
Once a week, each boy cooks. They've also been barrista trained. :)
|Pre Teens , Teens|