Pizza, Frappuccino, diet soda–these are the staples in many teen diets. Unfortunately these are full of empty calories, and adolescence is a critical age. Your teen will be going through a big growth spurt. Her body is changing and she needs as many vitamins and minerals are she gets.
But most teens are not going to take any advice from parents, so our lectures on proper eating will fall on deaf ears. How can we convince her to get the right nutrients?
The first is to lead by example. If teens grow up in a home where everyone is committed to healthy living, then they will be less likely to think that a burger is a ‘normal’ meal.
Second, cook delicious meals. The more your teens eat at home, the less opportunity to binge on fast food meals. Packing them healthy lunches and keeping the refrigerator and pantry stocked with good and nutritious food also makes nutrition the more ‘convenient’ choice. (Why line up at the cafeteria for bad food when Mom’s cooking is better?)
Third, make it a beauty (not a health) concern. Show them how vitamins and nutrients can make their skin and hair naturally beautiful. Point out celebrity icons who lead fit and healthy lives and have the body to show for it. Appeal to their vanity.
Lastly, ask for their inputs. Ask them what their favorite foods are and prepare them, but look for healthier versions. If they love pizza then make it at home, loaded with nutrient rich vegetables and sauce, with far less sodium than they’d find in at a restaurant.