Summertime and feedng Teens

Seriously, I sometimes think these other kids don't have food in their house. I say that jokingly but then again, maybe not.

Anyways. Summertime is upon us. That means kids are in the house. And for me, that means older teens.

Teens that should know how to prepare something healthy to eat instead of a bag of chips.

I do try to make it a little easier. Afterall, I am a full time working mom AND dedicated to being healthier with trips to the gym (although not as consistently as I'd like) ... so here are a few things that I try to keep on hand:

Fruits - strawberries, blueberries, grapes, melons, whatever is on sale. I don't do a whole lot of apples (most kids don't like them "as much") ... if I get good oranges, they will be devoured, but we are picky on oranges around here.

Veggies - lettuce (if I'm ahead of the game, shredded/sliced thin for sandwiches encourages them to use it), sweet peppers, sliced, celery, carrots (sticks), pickles and other hotter peppers. These can be snacked on OR added to sandwiches for more healthier bulk.

Bread and bagels. Doh. Used as egg sandwiches, grilled cheese, regular sandwiches and so on. Even better if I think ahead and make french bread for them, then they can make pizza bread, paninis or whatever they wish!

Lunchmeat. I'm hooked on the Costco (Kirkland) lunchmeats. So it's a bit more expensive at $3.59 to $3.99 lb but its vacuumed packed so I can buy 4 pkgs at a visit. I'd rather buy better quality for a little more money if it will ALL be consumed vs the cheaper stuff, less healthier (sodium and fat content) that will NOT all be consumed. This can be used for sandwiches, added to omelets, rolled with cheese for a healthier, non carb bite and so on.

Cheese. Yeah, Cheese. We LOVE cheese in this house. I do not buy the plastic wrap squares any more. I can get the real deal for just about the same price AND like I said about lunchmeat, it's just better to spend a little more on a better quality that's healthier.  We buy sliced and blocks and shredded cheese. Cheese and crackers, sandwiches, topping salads, nachos, or just plain ole cheese.

Chips. I know. But they need something on the side ... so chips it is. I try to keep tortilla chips in the house. Nachos are a huge hit. Spread chips on plate, top with cheese, cover with microwave thing, microwave 45 seconds til cheese mostly melted. Top with salsa and a little sour cream and looky there, you got a fast plate of nachos. I personally prefer to make the salsa fresh but the kids don't really care if it's jarred or not :)

Water and other drinks. Ok, here's where we fall into the trap. The kids all eat healthier for the most part so we do use the Brita pitcher quite a bit. But they like them water bottles too. I don't know if it's the convenience and the unconscious act of twisting the lid on and off? But we go through water bottles. My real pet peeve is the partially drank ones that are left. So I started buying these 10 ounce ones at Aldis for a lot less than the little chub ones. They will drink soda if its here, but not crazy like. Same with juice (I've gotten back in the habit of Crystal Light as it encourages ME to drink more fluid) and milk.

Sweets. I've been trying to eliminate the sweets in the house but there is tons of cookie dough, cake mixes, frostings, etc. to be made if they are so inclined. There was a chocolate chip baking fest the other night (Sunday) as it was raining and Sonny Boy and GF wanted to do something creative ...

So what do I suggest for foods that they can make? They do know how to operate the gas grill, oven, stove, toaster oven and microwave thankfully:

hot dogs (grill)
burgers (grill) - this has not happened YET
pizza bread
frozen pizzas
homemade pizza (using pillsbury crust from fridge)
grilled cheese
paninis
nachos
quesidillas
mac & cheese (oh yeah, the blue box and easy mac) ... need to leave them recipe for the rice cooker stuff from Lynnes Kitchen to try
Bagels with cream cheese
omelets
egg sandwiches
regular lunchmeat sandwiches (if I know there will be a lot of kids around for practice or whatnot, I'll set up everything in the fridge for a sandwich bar)
pasta (I've got the quick cook stuff for easier cooking as they seem to wait til they are starving to cook)
leftovers (I'll bet most of the ribs are gone by the time we get home tonight)

Linking up with We Are That Family Works for Me Wednesday ... everyone say a prayer, trip was cancelled and she's in the hospital with kidney failure ::shudder:: ... I've got a sister in law who had one removed and my neighbor just had hers removed.

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