Great, Easy and Cheap Summer Snacks to Feed Your Pre-Teens

Jenny Justice

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It’s summer and kids are home and free from all of that virtual or in-person school work, and school stress. It is time for swimming, playing outside, having friends over and of course, if you are a parent or know a pre-teen, it is time for eating, snacking, eating, and snacking some more. Kids love food and of course, need to eat. These pre-teens are growing every day in every way!

As a mom who is happy to be the mom to the house that my daughter’s friends all enjoy hanging out in, I am familiar with hunting and gathering pre-teen friendly and healthy meals and snacks.

Here are some of my go-to pre-teen approved favorites that are easy to put together, affordable, and healthy.

Cheese and Cracker Plate, but Make It Fancy

First we look for whatever cheese and crackers we have in the house already. Then we see what else we might be able to throw on the plate or tray with them to round out the meal in a way that will impress those pre-teens. I have been known to add fruit, but of course, let’s present it in a way that is easy for them to grab while they chat, play Roblox, or make TikTok videos. I also add olives, dried cranberries, and a pile of chocolate chips. If you give them too many sweets you know that is the thing they will eat first and only, so, make it balanced!

Hummus and Pita Chips, with Veggies

This one is similar to the above, but guess what - most of these will be. When being a snack mom it is all about how many random, appetizing and healthy things you can throw on a plate to ensure kids eat something, feel full, complain less, and have options. So, hummus in the middle of the plate, pita chips around the hummus, and some veggies on the side - the basics, carrots, broccoli, celery are usually enough but if you are feeling fancy, cherry tomatoes are great too.

Breakfast Plate

Another plate idea. Because you know it is true. This time go for breakfast if it is the morning after a sleepover, or if you are out of other items or ideas. So, bananas, cut up, sorry I know it is some work. But, it will pay off, I promise. Then apples (sliced) next to the bananas to provide that health and variety. Throw on some drinkable yogurt, right on the plate sure or next to it. And some toast. Peanut butter toast or almond butter toast, or jelly and toast. Round it all out. If you have hard boiled eggs, sure add that too. Look at the presentation!

Additionally one more thing - keep them away from soda, really. Go for water, milk, yogurt drinks, smoothies, or sparking water if one of them is a soda drinker on their own time. Just encourage healthy eating and drinking without making a big deal of it - no shaming, no elitism, just have the items there, make it fancy, and let the abundance of your options be so pleasing to them that they won’t miss the junk and fillers usually associated with kids (chips, candy, soda, sugar).

It is all about what kids will eat when they are hanging out with their friends and what won’t take too much time for them to focus on, or too much time for you, snack mom, snack dad, to make. Plus they love variety and they love when things look abundant. Basically the secret I have found is a plate of whatever you have that is somewhat the picture of a balanced meal, with all of those food groups and colors. Name it something cool if you wish, see if you get cheers or groans for that, we are dealing with pre-teens afterall.

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Jenny Justice is a poet, writer, mother and teacher. She is just a girl in the world, new to town and learning to love this city - Reno, NV. She writes about all things local from food, to fun, to what you need to know to have a good day, good week, or good time in The Biggest Little City. Jenny loves books and will encourage that love of books with her book reviews. She also writes about relationships, dating, parenting, and other topics when the muse moves her. Follow her for good food, good books, and good fun especially in the Biggest Little City in the world.

Reno, NV
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