Advice Column, Tween & Teen

Feeding Teenagers

  • Sharon Atkins
  • Category Advice Column, Tween & Teen

As teens become more independent in their food choices, they tend to make wrong choices- even teens who are brought up eating healthy. Here are the four worst food habits teens may develop and some tips as to how you can help them.

  1. Skipping breakfast is the number one leading bad habit for teens. According to a recent study more that half of male teens and more than two thirds of female teens do not eat breakfast on a regular basis. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast can kick starts your teens metabolism, which helps with weight control, mood and school performance. You can ensure that your teen eats a healthy breakfast by making the foods readily accessible to him. Make it part of your routine to put breakfast on the table and sit with your teen while you both enjoy a healthy breakfast or if time is a problem then do a grab and go breakfast .
  2. The next unhealthy food habit teens have is increased foods from the treat group. Teens tend to eat too much high fat and calorie snack foods. You can help teens break this habit by having healthy snacks available. Turn your house into a safe zone, where healthy, tasty snacks are easily accessible and treat snacks are non existent.
  3. Increased eating outside the home. Teens hit the take aways and fast food outlets much more often than they did when they were younger. This is often because of school, sports and work schedules overlapping regular mealtimes. Talk to your teen about limiting fast food once a week. Help prepare some easy to eat meals in advance like a healthy sandwich, or last nights meal leftovers.
  4. Last but not least is the over consumption of fizzy drinks. Help your teen by limiting the amount of fizzy drinks available in the home. Encourage water, cordials homemade iced teas.

One common denominator for getting teens to eat healthier and avoid these bad food habits is your active role in providing healthy foods. When you get in the habit of making these foods more available to your teen, you will see a change in the eating habits.


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