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Ten smart snacks for teens

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A common misconception is that snacking isn't a healthy habit for growing teens. The truth is that most teens need snacks -- the trick is making healthy food choices in the right amounts.

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When making snacks, use a small plate or bowl and to snack at the table instead of in front of the TV or computer. These habits help teens control portion size and take their time while eating so they don't eat too much. Be active as well.

Smart Snack Suggestions

• Make a fruit pizza by spreading 2 tablespoons of nonfat cream cheese on a toasted English muffin. Top with ¼ cup of sliced strawberries, handful of grapes, or ¼ cup of any fruit canned in its own juice. Or top with broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for a veggie twist.

• Eat a small bag or handful of baked chips, pretzels, or single-serving bag of air-popped popcorn.

• Create a homemade fruit smoothie by combining ½ cup frozen vanilla yogurt, ½ cup 100 percent orange juice, and one peeled orange in a blender.

• Have two rice cakes, six whole-grain crackers, or one slice of whole-grain bread served with low-fat cheese, fruit spread, hummus, or peanut butter.

• Opt for an individual serving size of sugar-free, nonfat pudding instead of regular ice cream.

• Choose a small tortilla with one or two slices of low-fat cheese or turkey, or a small bowl of vegetable soup and a few crackers.

• Snack on 1 cup of whole-grain cereal with nonfat or low-fat milk and add ¼ cup of blueberries, strawberries, or peaches.

• Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on a tortilla and then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of whole-grain cereal on top. Peel and place one banana on the tortilla and then roll the tortilla for a crunchy treat.

• Try an apple, banana, or plum with one or two reduced-fat or low-fat string cheese sticks.

• Combine ? cup of almonds and ? cup of dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins with ½ cup of whole-grain cereal for a fun trail mix.

For more information, visit www.mypyramid.gov.

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