Be warned: if you thought it was tough to get children to eat healthy foods, it doesn’t get any better when they are teenagers. In fact, many young people that age make a point of rebelling against their parents and doing the opposite of what they say. That can make it a real challenge to convince them of the logic behind eating a balanced diet.
Here are some areas to concentrate on:
Life really starts to ramp up when you reach your teen years, thanks to increased workload at school, extracurricular activities, time with friends, and part-time jobs. That leaves less time for good food and more temptation to fill up on junk. Stress the importance of choosing healthy snacks, such as carrots or celery sticks, over vending machine fare. If time permits, help them out by preparing some in advance that your kids can take with them.
If teens are buying their own meals and don’t have much spare cash, they may opt for all you can eat places or restaurants that are known for generous servings. This is almost inevitably quantity over quality and can provide a huge temptation to overeat. It is important to stop eating once you are full; tell them that they will know when it is time to stop and should listen to their stomach. So-called supersized meals can sometimes have more calories than you need for an entire day.
Don’t Skip Meals
Not only does skipping meals leave your body out of balance, it makes you more likely to cheat. That almost inevitably means snack foods and sugary drinks to provide a needed jolt of energy. Relying on this sort of crutch to make it through the day is a bad idea and one that will inevitably catch up with them. Teach your teen to budget their time so that they have enough to sit down and enjoy proper food at a healthy pace.