You can introduce new foods and might be pleasantly surprised when your teenagers eat things they wouldn’t previously touch. According to an article of Jo Lewin, the adolescent years are physically dominated by the production of sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, which bring about all sorts of physical and emotional changes. The teenage body typically undergoes a growth spurt and changes shape, all of which requires energy, vitamins and minerals. A lot of the time, your teenager will want to graze or grab a quick snack. The trick is to ensure there is good food available when they want it. Make sure there is plenty of choice – treats like good quality chocolate, dried fruit and unsalted nuts as well as plenty of foods that provide goodness as a snack or a more substantial meal put together in no more than ten minutes.
This is a low-fat, healthy snack with chicken, tomatoes and cucumber under 150 calories, which makes a perfect snack for your teenager at home.
- ½ wholemeal pitta bread
- 25g cooked skinless chicken breast
- ¼ cucumber, cut into chunks
- 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Fill the pitta half with the chicken breast, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Indian oven chips
Spice up potato wedges with turmeric, ginger, garlic and fennel seeds for an Indian-inspired side dish – perfect to share with friends.
- 1kg floury potatoes such as Maris Piper, peeled and cut into chunky chips
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped, or finely grated into a paste
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped, or finely grated into a paste
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- generous pinch of cayenne pepper
- The day before you plan to eat them, tip the potatoes into a pan of cold water and add the turmeric and pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, and simmer gently for 2-3 mins until just cooked. Drain, leave to cool, then chill overnight if you can.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Drizzle 1 tbsp of the oil in a shallow roasting tin (preferably non-stick), and place in the oven. Pour the rest of the oil into a large bowl and add the ginger, garlic, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper. Tip the cold chips into the bowl and gently toss with your fingers until evenly coated. Remove the tray from the oven and scatter over the chips. Use a spatula to coat the chips in the hot oil, then lay them out in a single layer and roast for 30 mins. Use the spatula to turn, then return to the oven for 15 mins until crisp and golden.
Pepper & walnut houmous with veggie dippers
Pack in the vegetables with this quick-to-make dip blitzed with sweet roasted red peppers and served with courgette, celery and carrot batons.
- 400g can chickpea, drained
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 large roasted red pepper from a jar (not in oil), about 100g
- 1 tbsp tahini paste
- juice ½ lemon
- 4 walnut half, chopped
- 2 courgette, cut into batons
- 2 carrot, cut into batons
- 2 celery sticks, cut into batons
- Put the chickpeas, garlic, pepper, tahini and lemon juice in a bowl. Blitz with a hand blender or in a food processor to make a thick purée. Stir in the walnuts. Pack into pots, if you like, and serve with the veggie sticks. Will keep in the fridge for 2 days, although the vegetables are best prepared fresh to preserve their vitamins.
Crunchy granola with berries & cherries
Make your breakfast a fruity feast – this recipe is full of crunchy goodness.
- 175g mixed nuts
- 450g rolled oats
- 50g sesame seeds
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 100ml runny honey
- half a 170g packet dried berries and cherry
- Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/fan oven 170C. Halve some of the pecans, leave some whole. Mix with peanuts, oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. In a jug, measure the oil and pour into the mixture, then measure the honey – it will slide out easily. Stir together with a fork to break up any big clumps of oats.
- Pour on to a large baking tray with sides, preferably non-stick, in a thin layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring well at least twice and bringing the mixture in from the edges, until it is golden. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.
- Mix in the berries and cherries and serve with plenty of chilled milk.
- Store for up to 1 month in airtight container.
Recipes source: BBC Good Food