How To Tame Those Teen Snack Attacks
Teen snack attacks are nothing to joke about. Ravenous kids will decimate your kitchen in under 10 seconds. They sniff out cereals, crackers and chips. You can spend your entire grocery store budget one day and have bare cupboards the next. Unless you take action and do something about it. Now.
I spent $150 on fresh fruits, vegetables, cereal, bread, chips, pantry staples, and necessary items like cheese and chocolate. When I say chocolate, I mean I bought a hazelnut chocolate bar to keep in my secret hiding place for ME (because a square a day’ll do ya!), and four bags of chocolate chips for recipes and such.
Saturday: Teen Snack Attack
The potato chips are gone — empty bag found in 10-year-old son’s bedroom. Two bags of chocolate chips have disappeared. To be fair, I made chocolate chip cookies. The other bag? Opened and consumed in random handfuls by teenage girls. Cheese? Sliced and melted in umpteen quesadillas. Blueberries? Added to huge quantities of smoothie sweetened with sugar AND honey AND maple syrup by a boy who was not supposed to be making smoothies. And a carb-craving kid boiled an entire bag of egg noodles and served them with butter and parmesan cheese. The siblings approved and consumed the leftovers.
You get the picture. A grocery budget cannot support this form of feasting. And to be honest, neither can their growing bodies. If I don’t prepare something healthy and filling, they’re going to stuff their faces (literally!) with anything they deem snack-worthy. Unfortunately, it’s not apples and celery sticks. They need something with more substance. So, I determined to do what any well-meaning mother and/or elementary school does. I mandated Snack Time for the summer.
There’s something about a schedule! The kids may have eaten breakfast at 7 a.m. and feel starved by 9:30, but they know I’ll have something prepared at 10, so they wait. It’s miraculous. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!
- Schedule snack times
- Plan ahead and prepare nutritious foods
- Make a rule: no pantry raids without a parent’s permission
Teen snack time is a great way to connect, too. Discuss a topic of interest, practice your British accents, whatever! Make your afternoon snack an official ‘tea time’. The possibilities are endless, but it all boils down to this: feed ’em regularly. You’ll save your pantry and protect them from sugar and junk.
Teen Snack Ideas
- Cheese and crackers, or cheddar and apple slices
- Sliced bananas, dipped in wheatgerm and drizzled with melted dark chocolate
- Scones to serve with tea (find a favorite recipe online!)
- These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Iced tea and hot tea and flavored waters (try adding slices of cucumbers and strawberries or blueberries and lemon or orange slices and mint)
- Peanut Butter Bread — serve this one with strawberry jam. Yum!
- Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
- Cranberry Salsa with Homemade Cinnamon Chips (for special occasions)
- Balsamic Tomatoes with Mozzarella & Basil
- Pepperoni Pasta Salad — perfect for carb cravings AND it’s a great recipe for weekend potlucks!
- Berry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Frozen Chocolate Whips
And this recipe is one of their favorites. Who am I kidding — we all love it! I find chia seeds at Aldi. They’re thought to reduce food cravings, help you stay hydrated, lower blood pressure, and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But you can easily leave them out if you can’t find them!
No-Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls
- 1 cup rolled oats old fashioned
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup wheatgerm
- Combine all ingredients except wheatgerm.
- Place wheatgerm in a shallow bowl.
- With slightly damp hands, roll oatmeal mixture into small balls.
- Then roll ball in the wheatgerm until lightly coated.
- Place on a plate or small cookie sheet, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Know what makes all of this even better? Feed your teenagers (and yourself!) a healthy breakfast. We eat a lot of eggs because we have a fresh, daily supply, but we also enjoy Greek Yogurt with granola and honey. Kids don’t like the “sour” taste of unsweetened yogurt? Add a slight amount of Stevia!
Happy snacking, friends!
I am a writer, blogger, wife and homeschooling mother of three. I love wide open spaces, cooking, gardening, decorating, travel, vintage treasures, sunshine on my shoulders, and bare feet.