Are you worried about your teen’s eating habits? Do you think your teen is not paying heed to your advice about eating well and healthy? Are you concerned your teen may be prone to health issues as a result of bad eating habits?
If you are looking for ideas for promoting healthy eating habits for teens, read on for some effective tips and tricks.
Teenage Eating Habits:
Before you move into more detailed ideas for healthy eating habits for teenagers, here is a quick look at the nutritional chart for teenagers: (1)
|Micronutrient||Boys 9-13||Boys 14-18||Girls 9-13||Girls 14-18|
|Vitamin A||2000 IU||300 IU||200 IU||2333 IU|
|Vitamin D*||4000 IU||400 IU||400 IU||400 IU|
|Vitamin E||11 mg||15 mg||11 mg||15 mg|
|Vitamin K||60 mcg||75 mcg||60 mcg||75 mcg|
|Vitamin C||45 mg||75 mg||45 mg||65 mg|
|Thiamin (B1)||0.9 mg||1.2 mg||0.9 mg||1.0 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.9 mg||1.3 mg||0.9 mg||1.0 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||12 mg||16 mg||12 mg||14 mg|
|Pyridoxine (B6)||1.0 mg||1.3 mg||1.0 mg||1.2 mg|
|Folate||300 mcg||400 mcg||300 mcg||400 mcg**|
|Vitamin B12||1.8 mcg||2.4 mcg||1.8 mcg||2.4 mcg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||4 mg||5 mg||4 mg||5 mg|
|Biotin||20 mcg||25 mcg||20 mcg||25 mcg|
|Choline||375 mg||550 mg||375 mg||400 mg|
|Calcium||1300 mg||1300 mg||1300 mg||1300 mg|
|Chromium||25 mcg||35 mcg||21 mcg||24 mcg|
|Copper||700 mcg||890 mcg||700 mcg||890 mcg|
|Fluoride||2 mg||3 mg||2 mg||3 mg|
|Iodine||120 mcg||150 mcg||120 cmg||150 cmg|
|Iron||8 mg||11 mg||8 mg||15 mg|
|Magnesium||240 mg||410 mg||240 mg||360 mg|
|Manganese||1.9 mg||2.2 mg||1.6 mg||1.6 mg|
|Molybdenum||34 mcg||43 mcg||34 mcg||43 mcg|
|Phosphorus||1250 mg||1250 mg||1250 mg||1250 mg|
|Selenium||40 mcg||55 mcg||40 mcg||55 mcg|
|Zinc||7.0 mg||8.5mg||7.0 mg||7.3 mg|
|Potassium||4500 mg||4700 mg||4500 mg||4700 mg|
|Sodium||1500 mg||1500 mg||1500 mg||1500 mg|
|Chloride||2300 mg||2300 mg||2300 mg||2300 mg|
5 Effective Tips To Make Your Teen Eat Healthy:
Here are a few easy and effective tips on how to promote healthy eating habits for teens: (2)
1. Do Not Force Your Teen About It:
One of the first things you need to remember when you are trying to make your teen eat healthy is not to push the issue.
- Talking about eating healthy and eating together can inspire your teen to eat better. Instead of making it a daily debate topic, talk to your teen about it at regular breaks.
- Make sure you do not sound preachy or angry. Do not make it sound like a power issue but something like a heart to heart chat between a parent and a teen.
- Encourage your teen to eat healthy by providing a variety of healthy eating options at home. Show your teen that healthy does not have to mean boring and bland. Try out new recipes as and when you can.
[ Read: Balanced Diet For Teenagers ]
2. Get Your Teen Involved:
Your teen may find it easier to connect to healthier food if she is involved in the food.
- Give your teen the responsibility of planning one meal a day. Ask her to try and include as many healthy options in the meal as she can.
- Set her a challenge of coming up with delicious and interesting food ideas by giving her a pre-set selection of ingredients and putting a timer. Make it a game rather than a rule.
- Shop together with your teen at local farmers’ market and encourage her to pick the items himself. To make it more fun, pick a color of the day and try and find out as many food items as you can find in that color. Bring them home and cook a meal.
3. Make Them Informed:
Your teen may be blindly following junk food habits as part of peer pressure.
- Make your teen understand the negative effects of settling in for junk or food items that are not healthy.
- Share news articles and health videos that show the real face of unhealthy foods. Let your teen see why foods from popular food chains are termed unhealthy.
- Teach your teen how to read labels and then find out how many unhealthy ingredients are there in his favorite ready to eat snack. Encourage your teen to research and come up with information himself.
[ Read: Nutrition For Teens ]
4. Stock Your Home With Healthy Eating Choices:
In most cases, your teen will easily reach out for foods that she can see in his line of vision.
- Make sure you fill up your home with healthy eating options like fruits, fresh vegetables, healthy herbs and spices and more.
- Keep fruits and some raw vegetables like tomatoes, carrots and more, in a small basket on the table where your teen can get them easily.
- Instead of stocking up on packaged juices and such, prepare fresh juice right in the morning and keep it on the family table. You can also keep jars of fruit infused water on the table that your teen can sip on through the day.
[ Read: Best Healthy Foods For Teens ]
5. Lead By Example:
Your teen may not admit it, but in most cases, what you do will greatly impact your teen’s overall behavior.
- Make your food selections wisely and incorporate healthy eating habits before expecting the same from your teen.
- If you or your partner suffer from any health issues, tell your teen about it and discuss what eating habits could have prevented it.
Your teen can easily get influenced to have unhealthy eating habits. Try the tips shared above and encourage your teen to eat healthy.