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Helping Your Teen to Eat Healthy

Itís hard to grasp the fact sometimes that what our mothers said to us as teens really made sense. Do you remember your Mother telling you ďyou are what you eat?Ē Well she was right. When it comes to teaching our teenagers about eating healthy we really need to take that statement to heart.


Helping Your Teen to Eat Healthy

Teens these days have schedules that are full of classes, studying, extracurricular activities and home life. There is hardly enough time for food. When there is it is often fast food, quick frozen meals or sweet snacks. Their young bodies can probably handle this if they are active enough, but for some teens, their genes wonít support such habits.

We as parents have to take the bull by the rein in these situations. It is the parentís job to give our kids not only the rules about right and wrong, but how to take care of themselves for life. This includes teaching them about eating healthy.

When you mention healthy, all anyone sees is rabbit food. We are talking about carrots and lettuce for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating like that will help you retain weight but it will also send you scurrying to that stash of snacks in a hurry. Teach them that all foods are okay to eat in moderation. They can still have their favorites.

Many teens are creatures of habit. They probably wonít try anything new, let alone green, without some help. Use dinner time as experimentation time. Start by adding new fruits and vegetables to meal staples to create unique and flavorful tastes. In fact, let the entire family try and evaluate foods that are better for them.

Teaching children how to cook can be very helpful. It is a useful skill that will keep them from starving and help them save money as they get older. When you cook, you know what ingredients are in the food. Talk about the best way to eat vegetables, how to cook meats for less fat content and what can be substituted in meals to get all the taste with fewer calories.

Teach them how foods work in the body to keep it active and healthy. This is important, because many people live to eat instead of eating to live. Show them how to use food as energy and when to eat certain foods for maximum feelings of fullness and to rev up the metabolism. Their eyes will be opened and they may even enjoy the learning experience. Also discuss emotional eating and other ways to deal with troubles.

Unless told by a doctor no teen should diet. Diet is a word that needs to be stricken from the mind. Eating healthy is not about eliminating food but limiting how much you eat. Talk about portion size and making every bite count.

Donít look at teaching children to eat healthy as nagging about their eating habits. Itís important they know from the start that a healthy diet is a healthy lifestyle. Give them some pointers and a little space. It might surprise you when it comes to those snacks and quick meals they decide to devour.


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