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snacks for packs of teenagers?

My kids are fairly picky eaters to begin with.  They also spend a lot of time entertaining friends at our house.  We often have several 13-y-o girls and several 167-17 y-o boys hanging out here, and they're all getting tired of ramen noodles and pizza (we're ovo-lacto).  The friends tend to be less picky than my own children, but what can I serve to a crowd of teenagers that is a) cheap b)fast and c) vegetarian, preferably vegan, but must appeal to omnivore kids,  and d)healthier than chips and dip or cookies?

Entertaining any and all ideas!

first of all, i like how you refer to them as "packs of teenagers."  as if they are wolves.  hee.

what about hummus, guac., and veggies (broccoli, cuke, carrots, cherry tom)?  with some pita cut up, too?

or yogurt w/fruit, granola, and/or coconut?

or little sammiches, with pb & banana, or pb & jelly, or cream cheese and cucumber?

these snacks might take minimal effort, but no more, really, than boiling water and fixing ramen.  with the ramen, of course, you could simply make a healthier pasta salad - in advance, even - and add broccoli, onion, tomatoes, olives, whatever, omitting the msg packet that comes w/the noodles and adding a lil oil and vinegar instead.

mmmm, snacks.


I guess I think in terms of packs because we have a pack of 4 greyhounds.   :)

Oh duh!  I never even thought of turning ramen noodles into salad!  Thanks for the idea. 


The problem with teens is that they will eat you out of house and home if you give them half a chance.  I know, I just had one ravage my fridge for the summer.

Fresh In Season Fruit - Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Berries, Bananas
Fresh Veggies - Carrots, Celery, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, Cucumber
Dips - Chickpea Salad, Hummus, Black Bean dip, Salsa, Vegan Ranch (buy kosher Lipton ranch mix, make with Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Mayo)
Homemade snacks - Healthy Muffins, Granola, Cereal Bars
Salads - Green salads, Bean Salads, Pasta Salad, Veggie Salad

On the not so cheap side - Nuts, Sesame Sticks, Wasabi Peas, Rice Crackers
Put these in little covered bowls so they think they are finding your stash of really good nibbles, hehe.

If you can find a local Asian store buy some short-grain rice, vinegar and nori and let them make their own veggie sushi.

I would not have enough on hand to feed them a full meal unless they are actually staying for dinner.  Just because if you give them too many options you are gonna get a bare fridge in no time flat. haha  Plus you really dont want to foot that bill.

Try to find a local discount grocery type store.  ALDI is one in the south that I loved.  Locally there is a shop in CT call "Christmas Tree Stores" that has a small food section that I buy expensive nuts and peanut butters at hugely discounted prices. PB&Co for under $3 people!  Smoked Almonds for under $2.  Go with in season produce to keep costs low.  Like finding a 12lb Watermelon for $2.99 is a steal in CT.  Good luck with the packs!  Be sure youve had your shots. heheh


I love that you give them food, my friends and mom never really feed visiting children. hah.
Chips and salsa is always yummy (better than just plain ol' chips and dip)
Ritz crackers and things like peanut butter, cheese, lunch "meats", you could make dips if you're creative (i cant think of anything at the moment)
Oreos! (i know, not healthy at all, but good to keep in mind of a teenager emergency)
Fries (either frozen or made by you if you wish to put effort into them)

Mine arent too healthy, but i'm just thinking of what i've fed my friends. heh.


Ha ha--it's probably because I feed them that the kids all hang out at our house I guess.  And Cali, you called it--they eat a lot, so I'm in search of very filling, very cheap eats for them.  Luckily, some of DS's pals will cook for themselves.  Evan has standing access to the Ramen noodles and knows where the pots and spoons are, for example.  The girls won't make anything but cookies.

They all stay so long I kind of have to feed them, as mealtimes come and go...They are not invited for meals, but no one comes to pick them up, so i leave well enough alone.

I guess we run a pretty loose ship around here, but at least I know where my kids are and what they're doing and I know all their friends really well!


Ants on a Log is still my favorite snack; celery, peanut butter, and raisins. Of course, getting teenagers to eat it is probably not as easy as it sounds. Then again, the food is free so they shouldn't be picky about it. Buy whatever you want and if they don't eat it then they can go hungry!  8-)


One time my friends came over and all I had really was a bag full of veggies. I apologized, but it turns out that my friends like veggies and some sort of creamy dip (ranch, Italian, etc.). A personal favorite is celery with garlic hummus. Or if I don't want to chop veg, then I go with crackers and hummus. Nom nom nom!


I agree that it is best to have a pack around with your kids rather than your kids wandering off elsewhere!  So feeding their friends is a byproduct of having yours at home, which isnt too bad.

Maybe suggest some Ramen experimentation?  Like boil the noodles but add frozen veggies and make a peanut sauce.  Or boil the noodles, rinse, chill and make a thai noodle salad with some precut veggies you leave in the fridge for them?  These are suggestions and things I have tried out on my own daughter and she was thrilled with them.  


growing up, my house was similar to yours.....

one of my mom's standbys was 'pigs in blankets' with 'snausages' wrapped in crescent rolls and baked....
Then of course there was a 'tostada bowl/salad' with corn chips (fritos) topped with beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, guac etc....we could make our own as to our liking.
And after my experimentation one Sunday at our 'Sunday Breakfast' I created my very own 'mini burger' using a hot, buttered, biscuit as a bun, snausage patty as the burger, and tomato. Later on, I'd have these packed for lunch with mayo instead of the butter, and lettuce (and sometimes pickles) added.


hanashi, what are snausages?  All I see when I google them are dog treats.  ???


I think she was just talking about veggie sausages. My dad calls my vegan hot dogs and breakfast patties "snausages" too.


sorry, that is what we grew up calling the fake sausages....not + sausages = s(n)ausages

eta: cakes beat me to it

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