If you’ve got teenagers in your house, these 5 Tips and 25 Healthy Recipes for Hungry Teenagers should come in handy.
Recently, I received an email from a mom who has been facing challenges feeding her teenagers. As a working mom, it can seem daunting trying to get a home-cooked meal on the table. In this day and age of readily available fast food and processed food, I think it’s even more important for moms (and dads) to provide home-cooked meals for their kids.
For me, cooking is one of the joys and biggest ways I show my family how much I love them. From selecting the freshest ingredients, to preparing these ingredients and cooking them, then serving the final dish to my family, they can feel my love. Sharing home cooked meals is one of the memories I want my kids to have for a lifetime, something they can pass along to their kids one day.
Although I love to cook, I know not everyone does. And although I love trying new recipes throughout the week, I understand that’s not everyone’s bailiwick. Through my blog, I hope to inspire people like you to get back in the kitchen to cook, whether it’s making a simple Tomato Paste Pasta (my college son’s go-to) or making Smoked Peruvian Chicken for the first time.
Here are a few tips that I shared with this mom, who from her note to me, obviously cares deeply about feeding her family.
- Grilling can be an easy option. Boneless chicken thighs and breasts as well as fish cook quickly on the grill. A quick rub of herb/spice mix and olive oil on boneless chicken gives it quick flavor when grilling. Quick marinades are another way to add a boost of flavor before grilling.
- Roasting a few whole chickens at a time and saving one for another meal is a time saver. You can also roast chicken parts if you’re short on time. If you like, serve with chimichurri sauce or cumin and cilantro scallion salsa. Shred the extra chicken and make into quesadillas, chicken tacos, cold sesame noodles, fried rice or stir-fry noodles for another meal.
- Using a slow cooker can also help with getting dinner on the table or keeping it warm. Although the slow cooker is obviously a great way to cook meals, I’ve used it many days to keep dinner warm until it’s time to eat. With different kids’ activities, there are days when it’s near impossible for everyone to sit down together, so the boys can serve themselves dinner if need be.
- Having a few reliable quick and easy vegetable side dishes in your repertoire will help ensure your kids get their daily dose of vegetables. We’ve got our favorites that I know my kids will eat, including steamed broccoli with toasted garlic olive oil, salads (this can be as simple as romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and avocado), roasted or grilled vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, asparagus), and mashed cauliflower and potatoes.
- Serve fruit that’s in season with dinner. I serve individual bowls of fruit – berries, grapes, watermelon, mango, or whatever is in season. That way, I know my boys are getting a good serving size worth of fruit in their daily diet.
Hungry Teenager Chicken/Fish/Seafood Recipes:
- Grilled Thai Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce
- Easy Grilled Thai Coconut Curry Chicken with Peanut Sauce
- Roast Chicken with Cumin Cilantro Scallion Salsa
- Easy Herb Spiced Roasted Chicken
- Cold Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce (use leftover roasted chicken)
- Cold Sesame Noodles (use leftover roasted chicken)
- Crockpot Barbecue Pulled Chicken (make ahead and warm in crockpot)
- Chicken Meatballs in Barbecue Sauce (make ahead and warm in crockpot)
- Crockpot Jamaican Spiced Chicken (make ahead and warm in crockpot)
- Crockpot Cincinnatti Chicken Chili (make ahead and warm in crockpot; freezes well)
- Stir-Fry Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables (use leftover spaghetti and leftover roasted chicken)
- Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sauce
- Roasted Chili Orange Salmon (can be grilled)
- Grilled Salmon with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce (can be oven roasted)
- Grilled Shrimp Tostadas
Hungry Teenager Side Dishes:
- Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes
- Cheesy Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower and Potatoes (works on the grill too)
- Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus (works on the grill too)
- Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes (works on the grill too)
- Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Crust
- Garlic Roasted Kale
- Roasted Chili Garlic Broccoli
- Stir-Fry Broccoli and Red Bell Peppers
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Style Black Beans
What are you go-to dishes for your hungry teenagers? I’d love to hear.