6 Healthy Meals & Snack Tips for Teens

1. Eat healthy to look and feel better!

Eating healthy foods will…

  • Help keep your weight in check.
  • Keep you awake and focused in school.
  • Help you do your best at sports.

2. Take it easy on pizza, sweets, and sodas!

They have lots of sugar, salt, and fat.

  • Limit cakes, cookies, and other foods made with shortening, butter, and margarine.
  • Choose water or fat-free or low-fat milk instead of sugary soda or juice drinks.
  • Eat more foods like bananas, beans, and yogurt for potassium to help build strong bones.

3. Give your body the right fuel!

  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Power up with lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, tofu, and other protein-rich foods.
  • Build strong bones with fat-free or low-fat milk products for calcium and vitamin D.
  • Choose whole grains, like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal, for half of your grain servings.

4. Snack smart on these!

  • Fresh apples, berries, or grapes
  • A handful of walnuts or almonds
  • A small bag of mini-carrots
  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers

5. Take control!

One fast food meal can have more calories, fat, and sugar than you need for the whole day.

  • Avoid “value-sized” or “super-sized meals.”
  • Share your meal or take half home when eating out.
  • Choose whole-wheat bread, lean meats, and fresh fruit at the school cafeteria

6. Start strong and plan ahead!

Busy schedules can make it hard to eat smart. Planning ahead can help.

  • Jump-start your day with breakfast. It will help you do better in school.
  • Bagit! Pack a healthy lunch, like a lean turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread and an apple.
  • Snack smart by packing your own high-power nibbles for school or time with friends.

Article Provided by: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 2011. “Healthy Meals & Snacks for Teens”.The NIDDK would like to thank:
Carla Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Ohio State University for reviewing this fact sheet.


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