Healthy Eating > Healthy Kids > Healthy Eating for Teens > Meals and Snacks for Teens

Energize With Snacks

apples slices cheese cubes dairy snack healthy fruit

Most American teens are eating high-calorie snacks that offer little nutrition. Teens need energy throughout the day from nutrient rich foods. Eating balanced meals and snacks provides the energy and good nutrition that your body needs.

Quiz! Click on the snack that you think is the least nutritious for you:

A. Baby carrots or celery sticks with ranch dip
B. Fruit and yogurt smoothie
C. Chocolate muffin and a sports drink

Snack Ideas From the Food Groups


These three guidelines will help you choose healthier snacks.

  1. Start with snacks from the MyPlate food groups. American teens don’t typically get enough low-fat dairy, vegetables, fruit and whole grains, so start with these.
  2. Think of snacks as mini meals and combine two or more food groups for a healthy snack.
  3. Choose snacks with protein from milk, nuts, eggs or lean meats to help feel full longer. Add foods rich in carbohydrates like fruits, grains or vegetables for energy.

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MyPlate video

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Try these quick and nutritious snack ideas:

  • String cheese and fruit
  • Milk or yogurt smoothies with juice and sliced bananas or strawberries
  • Cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit (fresh or canned)
  • Fat-free or 1% milk
Vegetables +


  • Raw vegetables with low-fat yogurt dip or hummus
  • Try baby carrots, celery sticks, jicama or cucumber slices
  • Apples and cheese – pears and other fresh fruits work, too!
  • Frozen berries or sliced bananas
  • Edamame
Grains +


  • Whole-grain crackers with cheese
  • Whole-grain cereal with milk
  • Baked tortilla chips with salsa
  • Granola bar and milk
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Whole-grain toast topped with peanut butter

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