Eating Right: Helping your teen maintain a healthy diet

Does your teen eat like they have three stomachs? Do they spend most of their time raiding the refrigerator and going out to fast food with their buddies? You’re probably wondering why your child, who used to eat like a bird, is now behaving like they have never seen food before. Hormones and growth spurts are most likely to blame. Your teen needs fuel for their bodily transformation. How in the world can you help your teen maintain a healthy diet through all these changes?

healthy diet

Image source: Flickr user- sammyjayjay

Helping your teen stay healthy and happy

When helping your teen maintain a healthy diet, one rule to remember is moderation. They can still eat their favorite sugary, greasy snacks, however it must be infrequent and in small amounts. Focus on giving them a balanced, healthy diet, full of protein, veggies, and fruit. If you’re struggling to get your teen to eat healthy, here are some tips to get them eating a healthy diet:

  • Be a role model: If you typically eat unhealthy foods, your teen will think it’s okay for them to be doing the same. Model a balanced diet in your own life and your teen will more likely follow by your example.
  • Have healthy foods accessible: Instead of stocking your pantry with processed snacks for teens to bring to school or eat when they’re at home, keep foods like nuts, multigrain crackers, carrots, and cheese that are easy for your teen to grab and go.
  • Hide the healthy stuff: Some teens object to anything healthy, which is when you may need to start being sneaky. For example, you could make a lasagna with a bunch of veggies in it or fajitas with grilled onions and peppers.
  • Don’t label certain food as “bad”: Teens oftentimes struggle with self esteem when it comes to the way they look. If they are eating certain foods that they believe are “bad”, that can cause emotional damage. Instead, suggest healthier alternatives to their favorite unhealthy foods.
  • Make eating together as a family a priority: By eating together, you can monitor what your teen is eating while bonding with them. You can also make sure they’re maintaining a healthy diet.

Catering to specific needs

For some teens, acne and rising hormone levels can make life really difficult. For teens with acne, maintaining a healthy diet is super important. According to the Washington Post, “foods that support healthy skin include lots of water, blueberries and tomatoes for antioxidants, orange and yellow vegetables for Vitamin A, salmon and flax seeds for Omega 3 fatty acids, pumpkin seeds for zinc, and fermented foods for healthy digestion.”

Rising hormones, especially in girls, may cause cravings for sweets and other unhealthy foods. Suggest alternatives for them, such as smoothies or a yogurt parfait.

Elevations RTC promotes healthy diet

Elevations RTC, a all gender residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, strives to help teens become healthier and happier. After the recent WHO statements on processed foods as carcinogens, Elevations RTC began a plan to reduce the intake of processed and red meats by students.

Elevations RTC helps young people struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties with a comprehensive therapeutic program combined with a peer culture model.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call .

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