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Ask the Readers: How do you feed hungry teenagers without breaking your budget?

I have three teenagers with lots of teenage friends, who we love to host anytime. We have an open door policy and I wouldn’t change that for the world – it’s a great way to get to know the kids my kids are hanging out!

My concern is my grocery budget. It seems these hungry, growing kids can clean out my refrigerator and a week’s worth of snacks in an hour! Any ideas for some low cost, healthy, teen friendly snacks? How do you feed teenagers without breaking your budget? -Denise

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  1. says

    I don’t normally do snacks. for my family of 6, I buy a box of Cheeze It crackers every two weeks, and a bag of store brand pretzels. I bring them home and portion them into small bags. I do, however, often find myself feeding 7 or 8 kids dinner! I dont mind, because we all sit around the table and many kids dont get that at home. With 4 kids who can easiy out eat me, we go through plenty of food! I do watch what they eat, it is now or never to instill healthy eating habits! Dinner is usually centered around veggies, at least two kinds, a starch and meat. Watch portion sizes! Growing kids are often hungry, but I serve them a healthy portion size and make them wait a bit to settle in their tummy, then we negotiate seconds. Often they get bored waiting for me to finish and fix them more food and go play!

    I am not against snacks, and have been known to make just snacky foods for a meal. Lots of kids come through and are very happy with a homemade quesidillas, homemade pizza pockets and the like. Portion control is the key to saving money and teaching healthy habits! I can’t remember the last time I bought pop tarts, pizza rolls or anything like it!

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