Adolescence is that stage of your child’s life where she/he is likely to be a rebel against everything around. Even your former stricture for healthy food habits could give way to excessive consumption of fast foods, processed foods, alcoholic or sugary beverages, pastries, and just about everything that offers low nutritive values and hollow calories.
The Real Challenge
The young lady or the young man of your house needs a different diet plan to accommodate the rapidly developing body. The increasing appetite, coupled with the growth spurt, makes them reach for whatever food that catches their fancy. In fact, teenagers unavoidably become more comfortable to choose their own foods, harping more on “what do I want to eat” to what you would suggest trying. You can find that their choice of foods has a direct influence on what their friends are munching on. Also, they tend to prefer to eat-outs to home-cooked meals.
A Few Considerations That Might Help
Involving your adolescent more to the meal making procedure can do its bit to turn him/her more to home-cooked foods. You can start by:
- Subscribing them to teen-oriented apps, and magazines that specify the need to have proper nutrition. There might be interactive chapters and episodes that encourage cooking, general health, and nutrition.
- Occasionally invite them to your kitchen to suggest what they would like to eat.
- Don your chef hat and try your hands at cuisines from different cultures
- Keep different low calorie, yet nutritious, quick bites readily available. Otherwise, your youngster would pick anything convenient after coming back from school.
- Don’t stock on the foods that you do not want your teenager to eat.
- Occasionally, ask them to make a choice from your list of healthy foods. They can be anything from porridge with cinnamon and honey, muesli or fruits with yogurt, multigrain bread with poached or boiled eggs, high-on fiber cereals or baked beans with toast.
Eating Too Much, or Too Less
Overeating or not eating at all is a common issue with teenagers. This often results in serious health threats like obesity, sleep apnea, type-2 diabetes, poor concentration, loss of bone density and muscle mass, and even eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.
There might be a number of reasons for their negligence towards the right food intake. They might crop up due to emotional turmoil, anxiety, or repeated crash diets in order to get in shape. So ensure that you keep an eye on your teenager’s eating pattern. Look for a face to face discussion, or seek professional help if you feel that something is out of the way.