The Care and Feeding of Adolescents
That would be in the perfect world, where preteens and teens did not care what their peers think, manufacturers did not advertise food that will make us fat and sick with skinny, beautiful people, school lunch programs did not (usually) suck, and where our children did not spend more time in front of "screens," being bombarded with advertising each year, than they spend in school!
Sadly enough, the best time to instill healthy eating habits is with their first solid food, but if you have gotten past 13 years old and have a teen you are encouraging to eat better, here are some tips:
- Be a role model - exercise daily and eat well;
- Set screen time limits;
- Do outside activities together;
- Cut the portions you usually serve down;
- Do not keep the unhealthy, sugary, easy foods in the house;
- Make the healthy foods easy - keep fruit cut up in the fridge with a tasty yogurt, and granola on the counter;
- Pack snacks they can take to school, practice, work, and other outside the home activities;
- Try new recipes until you find the ones they like;
- Go to local farmer's markets and cook meals together using the ingredients; and
- Make food something that the family enjoys preparing and sharing.
Good luck and keep up the fight!
Photo credit: mOOrango