healthy eating

As kids get older, you may have to leave them home alone during summer vacation. You have enrolled them in basketball camp and given them permission to play a game of kickball at the park to keep them active but what about diet? Given the option, most teens will choose cheese fries over preparing a healthy lunch themselves.

Take the guesswork out of the equation by preparing meals for them and have them ready in the fridge. Don’t worry; you won’t have to wake up at 4 a.m. to prepare! As you are making dinner, cut up some extra vegetables for a snack plate or make an extra salad complete with colorful vegetables and fresh chicken breast. With meals already put together for them, eating healthy will be more convenient than ordering a pizza!

Try out our kid-friendly recipes for more ideas:

Pinwheels

Spread a thin layer of low fat Laughing Cow cheese on a whole wheat tortilla. Top with your favorite meat such as turkey. Roll as tightly as possible, holding in place with toothpicks. Refrigerate until firm, then slice into bite-sized pinwheels. Use flavored cheese for variety. Serve with a piece of fruit or vegetables.

Pasta Salad

This is an easy recipe that you can prepare on Sunday evening and let teens eat all week! Boil whole wheat pasta according to package directions. Add chunks of vegetables such as thawed frozen peas, cilantro, tomatoes and olives. Add a small amount of meat and cheese. Toss with Italian salad dressing.

Personal Veggie Pizza

You can make this easy pizza the night before or as you are getting ready for work in the morning. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread tomato sauce onto a piece of whole wheat pita bread. Top with your favorite veggies, such as frozen peas, corn, diced peppers or onions, olives, broccoli or sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese over vegetables and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

What to Buy at the Supermarket

Next time you head to the grocery store, keep this list of healthy snacks in mind. By having
a pantry of healthy snacks, your teen is bound to make the right choice. There are plenty of
healthy snacks that take zero time to prepare.

Low-fat yogurt

Mixed nuts

Granola bars

Protein or energy bars

Fresh fruit

Low-fat string cheese

Whole grain cereal with low-fat milk

Whole grain crackers with sliced low-fat cheese

Cottage cheese

Baby carrots with hummus

Air-popped popcorn

Whole wheat pita with black bean dip

Celery sticks with peanut butter

Canned tuna salad kits

 

Learn more about healthy eating for teens:

SparkPeople.com

TeenAdvice.About.com

Teens.WebMD.com

 

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.