Summer snacking is so important for adolescents. Days are longer, they’re busier, and they often don’t want to take the time for long meals. Snacks are always an important focus for providing nutrition and nourishment for adolescents, but there are some specific considerations to focus on during the summer.

Summer Snack Considerations

Increased growth affects appetite

With improved sleep, lower stress, and more time outside, many adolescents experience increased growth over the summer. This means their appetite will probably reflect that! (Interestingly, while many kids’ appetites increase during growth, some kids eat less during a period of growth, relying on their energy stores to fuel development.)

Summer schedules can impact meal times

Many adolescents wake up later in the summer, and will skip eating until lunch time or when they’re “feeling hungry”. Having a “snack” vs “breakfast” within 30 minutes of waking can help adolescents stay nourished and meet their nutritional needs over the day, without getting overly hungry later in the day.

Staying up later also means adolescents likely need to eat between dinner and bedtime. Pre-bed snacks often help improve sleep and help adolescents meet their daily nutritional needs. 

Hydration needs increase in hot weather 

It can be hard staying hydrated throughout the summer. It can be difficult remembering to drink, and often water just isn’t enough when it’s super hot and kids are really active.  Choosing hydrating snacks can help with that. This includes foods like fruit and frozen snacks, but it also includes salty foods that can help retain that fluid. 

Summer Snack Ideas

Summer snacks ideally include a combination of two to three food groups that provide fat, protein, or fiber, along with fluid and or salt. 

The following is just a short list of ideas. Have your adolescents come up with some of their own ideas of combinations that feel nourishing and satisfying, as well as hydrating! 

Cereal and milk (add frozen or fresh peaches, berries, or other fruit for added hydration!)

Fruit smoothie with yogurt or nut butter

Blueberry yogurt bites


Sitting on a wicker placemat over a green & white polka dot picnic tablecloth is a plate of blueberry yogurt bites

Snack bar and berries

Frozen bananas & peanut butter dip

On a purple cloth over slats is a plate of frozen banana slices with peanut butter dip

Crackers, tomatoes, & chocolate

Tuna salad, potato chips and cucumber slices

Muffin and melon chunks

mixed melon chunks & muffin on plate

Roasted chickpeas & chocolate milk

Ice cream with nuts and berries

String cheese and strawberries

Beef jerky and grapes

Purple grapes and a meat bar on a white plate