Snacks for our hungry teens

Snacks for our hungry teens
Snacks for our hungry teens

Is your teen constantly picking through the pantry? Are you bothered when it comes to providing him with snacks that are both good tasting and nutritious while being really filling?


Here are some ways to make really “filling” snacks for teenage gobblers!

To create a snack, you need to know the two main reasons why a snack should be eaten.

Reason number 1: to reach the recommended number of daily servings

The snack is chosen according to the number of servings of food from each group of Canada's Food Guide to eat each day. So snacking is an integral part of the menu for the day. Here are the recommended number of servings for each group in Canada's Food Guide. Remember, this is a GUIDE. Your teen may need more or less servings for each group.


14 to 18 years old

Vegetables and fruits Grain Products Milk and Alternatives Meat and Alternatives
Girls 7portions

6 servings

3 to 4 servings 2 servings
Boys 8 portions 7 servings 3 to 4 servings 3 servings

Examples of a one-serving equivalent

  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) of vegetables or fruit is equivalent to one serving from the “vegetables and fruit” group
  • 30 g of cold breakfast cereal is equivalent to one serving from the “Grain Products” group
  • 250 ml of milk or fortified soy beverage equals one serving from the “Milk and Alternatives” group
  • 75 g (2 ½ oz) of cooked lean meat equals one serving from the “Meat and Alternatives” group

You can consult the Canada's Food Guide online for more details.


Reason number 2: to support hunger

Also, the timing of meals and snacks will influence the composition of the snack. Each food group provides different vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the body and each of the groups provides either carbohydrates, lipids or proteins. These help to wait until the next meal. Therefore, the delay between the snack and the next meal will influence the composition of the snack. If the time frame is short, the snack will be mostly carbohydrate-containing foods that stave off hunger for less time. Whetherthe wait is longer, the snack will be more substantial and will consist mainly of protein to support hunger and energy for a little longer.



Suppress hunger for less time


Keeps away hunger longer


Keeps away hunger longer

Fruit X
Grain Products X
Milk and Alternatives X X X
Meat and Alternatives X X

Some he althy and nutritious snack ideas

Snack for a little hunger just before the meal

  • Fruits and cinnamon sauce (see recipe);
  • Vegetables and dip (see recipe).

Snack for a big hunger after school to wait until dinner

  • Cranberry bread and milk;
  • Carrot cinnamon bread and fortified soy beverage;
  • Whole wheat pita with tofu or legume filling (variations: chickpeas, white beans, etc.);
  • Tortillas with chicken or tuna filling;
  • Bagel with Cream Cheese Topping;
  • Beaten egg cooked in a ramekin in the microwave oven accompanied by salsa andgrilled tortillas;
  • Tortilla rolls with cream cheese and shredded carrots.

Snack between two classes to wait until lunch

  • Whole wheat soda crackers and cheddar cheese;
  • Crackers with cream cheese filling and mashed fruit;
  • Plain rice cakes with cheese filling and mashed fruit;
  • English muffins with apple and pear puree and fortified soy beverage;
  • Tartine of fruit puree and milk;
  • Homemade oatmeal cookies and milk;
  • Whole wheat carrot cookies and fortified soy beverage;
  • Berry Crisp (see recipe) and milk (possible variations: rhubarb and blueberries or strawberry and pears, etc.);
  • Muffins and fortified soy beverage (variations: pears and apples or blueberries and applesauce or shredded carrots or dried peaches and cranberries, raspberries and blueberries, etc.);
  • Dry cereal and light chocolate milk or fortified soy beverage;
  • Cocoa and hazelnut granola bars (see recipe) homemade and milk;
  • Date squares and fortified soy beverage;
  • Graham crackers and plain yogurt garnished with dried fruits (figs, apricots, dates) and a little maple syrup;
  • Mixture of soft tofu and plain yogurt and frozen fruit.

Source accessed August 2013: He alth Canada. Canada's Food Guide

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