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Tag Archives: feeding teenagers


12 Teen Summer Snack Ideas for Original G·E·M·S!

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As parents of teenagers and young adults ourselves, we know firsthand how challenging it can be to convince your kids to keep on the straight-and-narrow when it comes to eating right. So we’re offering our tried and true Eat Clean food rules catered to teens who want to look good and feel even BETTER — the basis of our Original G·E·M·S Life program. Check out our top recommendations below for helping your teen eat clean.


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Preparation is the name of the game when getting our kids to eat clean. While it’s likely they will never straight up ask for cucumbers and hummus, your teens will snack on what’s in front of them, so having healthy options on deck is a must!

My go-to healthy options make staying true to Original G·E·M·S Life easy for our teens at home. They’re what I call my “Jedi Mind Trick Snack Plates”…fun-looking, health-filled plates with a little bit of everything on them. Before they’ve even realized it, my teens are gobbling up organic veggies and nutrient-filled bites like it was their idea.

Try some of my favorite at-home snack plate ideas for your teens this summer!

12 Healthy Summer Snacks for Teens

  • Be-A-GEM Platter: Made with our fave grab-and-go options, including The GEM’s hummus with jalapeno pesto, our Vegan Ranch and Sami’s Flax Chips served along with snap peas and Sunset’s Sugar Bombs grape tomatoes. This plate is a hit for obvious reasons.
  • Netflix & Healthy Platter: Here’s one for the movie buffs—organic popcorn made on the stove top with coconut oil and sea salt, peanuts, pistachios, and Healthy Chex Mix from Unrefined Bakery (this stuff is the BOMB!).
  • Taste the Rainbow Platter: Take watermelon cubes, Cuties oranges, kiwis, blueberries, frozen grapes, and some mini marshmallows for clouds (brands like Smash Mallow or Dandies are our go-to).
  • Piatto d’Italia: Take a quick trip over the pond and into Italy with an array of olives, nitrate-free sliced salami, toasted almonds, sliced red peppers, parmesan chunks, and steamed artichoke. Go even further and make mini pizzas with whole grain English muffins, marinara and mozzarella. Buon appetito!
  • Mexican Fiesta Plate: Made with fresh GEM Pico de Gallo, guacamole and our 3 Bean Salad and served with Siete Tortilla Chips. Make quick and easy quesadillas by adding leftover seasoned taco meat or organic rotisserie chicken for quick access and using whole wheat tortillas. Look for brands that just have simple ingredients (hit: Mission is NOT it!). 
  • Veggie Lovin’ Platter: Served with steamed broccoli, GEM Vegan Ranch, sliced cucumbers and carrots marinated in lime juice and salt (this is an important step!). 
  • Let’s Do Brunch Platter: Make toasted waffles cut into triangles and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, served alongside boiled eggs, Alyssa’s oatmeal cookies (sold at The GEM!), and Applegate Farms chicken sausage links. 
  • Open-Faced Avo Toast Plate: Serve avocado toast with lemon, cayenne, sea salt, PBJ, and toasted cheese—all cut into small squares.
  • At-Home Happy Jars: Organic Greek or plant-based yogurt (Siggi’s is my fave) parfaits made with Marge or Park Lane granola and berries, drizzled with honey. Save yourself some time by making a few of these at a time, storing them in small Mason jars. 
  • Asian Snack Plate: Get store bought California Rolls (Whole Foods and Central Market have the best!), AshaPops, sliced red bell peppers, GEM Collard Wraps, and steamed organic spicy edamame (with “Slap Your Mama” seasoning).
  • Baked Potato Bar: Keep potatoes on hand and with fun toppings. Use that leftover taco meat! Super simple, filling, AND healthy. 
  • Smoothie Station: Blend one frozen banana with a cup of dairy-free milk, raw cacao and organic peanut butter for a yummy treat. Or, pick up some of our ready-made Smoothie Kits at The GEM and store in the freezer until ready to serve. Your teens will LOVE you!

Help set your teen up for success by providing them with these healthy snack options. And don’t forget to lead by example! For more inspiration on keeping you and your family inspired to Eat Clean, check out our Original G·E·M·S Life inspiration page with tried-and-true, easy-to-follow food rules. 

By selecting one practice that resonates with you from one or all of all of the four Original G·E·M·S categories (Gratitude, Eat Clean, Move and Shine), and committing to doing it daily for a week, then a month (and eventually forever), you’ll be well on your way to Shining Brighter in all areas of your life!


How to Help Your Teen Eat Clean With Original G·E·M·S

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As parents, instilling healthy food habits is one of the best things we can do for our children. It’s obvious for us, but it can be difficult to get our teenagers to actually buy into this idea. And as moms of a few teenagers ourselves, we know firsthand the struggle is REAL.


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Fortunately, our Original G·E·M·S Life program isn’t just for grown ups looking to Shine Brighter — its practices are also perfectly catered to families who want to raise kids with healthy habits. And what better way to start than by introducing our Eat Clean practice ideas to try at home this summer with your teens?!

Why Eating Clean Matters to YOUR Teen!

Nutrition affects the trifecta of most-important things to our teens: athletics, academics, and appearance. Chances are your teenager cares about one or all three of these—so as a parent, you can influence your teen to want to eat clean by emphasizing the positive results that eating healthy will have on their athletic and academic performance and their appearance. For instance,

  • More green leafy vegetables, less dairy & sugar = fewer breakouts
  • A GEM smoothie before a game = better sports performance
  • Loaded protein breakfast = increased focus on tests

Still not getting through? Here’s what happens with regular consumption of inflammatory foods, such as fast food, sodas, fried junk, sugar, etc:

  • Acne. Breakouts. Zits.
  • Low energy, sluggishness.
  • Weight gain and obesity.
  • Inability to focus (caused by artificial dyes and lack of good fats and proteins).
  • Mood swings, anxiety, anger (food can be a BIG factor in managing our mood).

You’ve identified the problem, now give them the healthy solution!

3 Tips on Getting Your Teen Eat Clean

  • PLAN FOR QUALITY GREENS at every meal. Salads, sautéed broccoli, steamed artichokes…you get the gist. Add spinach into their smoothies. And keep it up, even if they turn their noses up! Eventually they will come around. Even ‘one bite’ is a start!
  • CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY. Throw out foods with ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORS and SWEETENERS immediately. These things are known to cause cancer, ADHD, allergies, and lots of other infuriating problems. Even replacing super bad junk with organic, non-GMO junk is a non-toxic step in the right direction. The simplest of foods like bread or tortillas have more chemicals than you can count, much less pronounce, so be sure to read the labels!
  • DUMP THE PROCESSED SUGAR. Sugar is the main culprit behind bad skin, bad moods, and bad performance. Let your teens know this—they will thank you!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but by doing these three things on the reg, you can help them adopt a few good habits that will keep your teenagers thriving, healthy and happy—not just now, but straight into adulthood. It’s never too late to jump on the healthy disco train. But it all starts with YOU.

Want more tips on Eating Clean? Check out our Original G·E·M·S Life inspiration page with tried-and-true, easy-to-follow food rules to help keep your body at its best. By selecting a practice from one or all of the four Original G·E·M·S Life categories (Gratitude, Eat Clean, Move and Shine), and committing to doing it daily for a week, then a month (and eventually forever), you’ll be well on your way to Shining Brighter in all areas of your life!


Final Tips for Feeding (and Hydrating) a Teenage Athlete

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The third part of our series on teenage athlete nutrition focuses exclusively on hydrating your teenage athlete. Proper hydration in your teen is incredibly important. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can result in vast declines in performance.Teenage athletes

Understand hydration. It is key because too many of us blindly reach for traditional sports drinks for hydration, electrolyte replacement and energy. This can be a big mistake if you don’t know the scoop.

Conventional Sports Drinks …

  • Contain 2/3 as much sugar as sodas. Sugar after exercise negatively affects insulin sensitivity—it may bring an initial boost of energy, but then causes a crash as the pancreas tries to balance out the toxic blood sugar spike.
  • Are made with artificial colors, flavors and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Gatorade and its brethren are NOT healthy beverages. These ingredients promote ADHD, and contain synthetic ingredients that offer the body NO nutritional benefit.
  • Are loaded with sodium – the bad kind – not to be confused with unprocessed sea salt, which contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function. A far better option is to simply add a small amount of natural, unprocessed sea salt to your water.

 

So, what are your hydration and electrolyte replacement options?

  1. Water is always good, but won’t replace integral electrolytes and minerals.
  2. Coconut Water is rich in B vitamins, trace minerals AND electrolytes, as well as potassium and magnesium.
  3. Bananas are high in potassium, fiber and antioxidants.
  4. Raisins are a great replacement for those “energy jelly beans” and GOO.
  5. Clean Sports Drinks.

 

Wait, what is that, you say? A CLEAN sports drink???The GEM's Sports Drink

Yes indeed! Say good bye to Gatorade. Enter Perform—our super-clean performance and recovery drink! It has a Tart Cherry-Pineapple flavor. It is powered with electrolytes, trace minerals, hydrating coconut water and lightly sweetened with local raw honey for flavor and stamina. Tart Cherry is important because this polyphenol-rich juice reduces oxidative stress, which if neglected promotes excess fatigue, tissue damage and slow recovery, The bromelain in pineapple works to reduce inflammation.

Hydrating your teenage athlete is a minefield, people. Lucky for you we’ve got you covered.

If you want to learn more about this and more GEM~my goodness, join us for our Day in the Life of a GEM counseling series. It is on in September.

Sparkle on!








Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part Two

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment on Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part Two

Many struggle with knowing the healthiest ways to feed teenagers. Feeding a teenage athlete is even trickier. featureblog2

As discussed in last week’s post, optimal physical performance for your teen athlete requires preparation—not just daily practice, but as it relates to daily dietary input. You can’t expect to put cheap and crappy fuel into your car and expect it to run optimally. The same goes for your body.  What are appropriate pre and post game hydration and energy food options?

Last week’s post covered what your teenage athlete should eat – as a general diet, before training, and before sporting events. But what happens when your athlete is on the go? What choices can you make when you don’t have a great deal of time or the choices are limited and they need quick energy?

Sugary sports drinks and energy bars can actually do more harm than good. Beware of chemical laden, sugar filled energy bars that tout performance improvement.

Healthy and quick pre-game nutrition ideas on the go should be clean and simple:

  • Keep bananas, oranges and green apples on hand. (great with almond or organic peanut butter)
  • Pumpkin seeds, raw trail mix, GEM Remix*
  • Lentil Soup or Quinoa–packed with energy boosting nutrients 
  • Green juice – don’t underestimate the power of green juice! Packed with energizing nutrients that are delivered immediately into the bloodstream. Green Glow is a great pre- and post-game choice.
  • Healthy smoothies (made at home or from a reputable smoothie place without added sugar)
  • Go Lean Crunch or healthy cereals that contain good protein
  • Beet shots – increases endurance, reduces oxygen consumption, increases blood nitrate levels and reduces resting blood pressure. It might be a stretch for some of our teens, but major athletes swear by them!

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Bars are an easy and convenient way to keep your teenage athlete fueled, but choose carefully. Our favorites:

  • Tosi Bars*
  • Square Bars (peanut butter chocolate is the best!!)*
  • Epic Protein Powders (show them how to make their own smoothies!)*
  • GoMacro*
  • Perfect Bars – they require refrigeration but are amazing
  • Kind Bars Strong & Kind
  • Vega One Sport – this company has an entire line of products aimed at sports performance
  • Lara Pro-Bars
  • While not perfect, Clif bars are an energy option that is available even in the most remote of convenience stores.

*Available inside The GEM

Remember: clean and simple food choices are the way to go with your teenage athlete.  And don’t forget – water, water and more water!

Next week, we wrap up our series by tackling hydration and sports drinks. Until then, drink your juice!