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You Are What You Eat

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You Are What You Eat:  The Importance of Teen Nutrition

Most parents realize that getting teens to eat right can be a challenge.  Here are some tips to make it easier:

  • Eliminate junk food from your home.   Instead of keeping ice cream or soda on hand, make having it a special treat.  The same is true of candy and high fat foods such as chips and dips.
  • Encourage your teen to get enough calcium by having him start each day with a big glass of milk. 
  • Or make a breakfast smoothie of yogurt blended with frozen fruit that they can drink on the way to school.
  • If your teen takes his lunch to school throw a few extra slices of lean meat on some whole grain bread for a healthier sandwich
  • Keep bowls of nuts around the house for a quick and healthy snack. 
  • If your teen is a vegetarian and you are not familiar with that lifestyle, take time to find out more about non-meat sources of protein.
  • Set up a small salad bar for every meal.  Take time on the weekend to wash and chop a variety of vegetables and store them in the fridge in sealed plastic containers.  Then pull them out each meal and encourage your teen to make a salad with the ingredients he likes best.  Make sure he has his favorite dressing, too.
  • In addition to the salad bar, serve another vegetable at every meal.
  • Keep bowls of washed fruit available for an on-the go snack.
  • Encourage your teen to enjoy healthy snacks such as whole grain cereal, popcorn, baby carrots, apples, etc.
  • When possible, buy fruits and vegetables fresh and in season.  Not only will they likely be healthier, they will also be less expensive.
Let your teen help with preparing meals.  Use these times to talk about the importance of a well balanced diet made up of a variety of foods.

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