Some people eat to live while others live to eat. Your kid has a whole life to spend and it will be a pity if he ends up dying due to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, etc., as all these diseases can be avoided just by teaching healthy eating habits to kids. Teens develop eating habits from their parents so it is your responsibility to foster healthy teenage eating habits so that your kids may not blame you for not training them to adopt a healthy life after you are long gone.
Eat Everything But in Moderation
Do not ban any food item, but you can always limit its intake. For instance, instead of removing sugar from the meals, you can limit its intake. Encourage teens to avoid eating anything in excess, whether it is junk food or any regular food item. Teens usually prefer eating just a few food items, including different types of burgers, sandwiches, pizza and different bakery products. You have to add other food items in their meals just to make sure they are taking a balanced diet. It’s also okay to have dinner with family in a fancy restaurant, but this should not become a routine.
Teens eat everything they like even if it is unhealthy. This is something you need to work on. Encourage teens to eat healthy food, be its fish, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, juices, etc. Make sure their meals contain a balanced amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrition. Also, replace their unhealthy snacks with fresh fruits and juices. Stop them from eating fried food in excess. They can go for baked, grilled or boiled food.
Do Not Skip Meals
Teens often skip breakfast or lunch which is not a healthy habit. Our body needs food after regular intervals in order to get energy for performing daily functions and skipping meals disturbs the whole cycle. It also increases hunger as a result of which teens overeat. If your kid wakes up late in the morning, then you may pack him breakfast so that he can eat it on the way to school. Develop a habit of taking small portions of food 4 to 6 times a day instead of taking 3 heavy meals.
Avoid Eating with Distractions
Never keep television anywhere near the eating area, be it the kitchen or the dining room. Make it a family rule not to watch television or use smartphone while eating as teens tend to eat more when they are watching television, using their smartphone, or busy doing anything else. Television and smartphone distract teens, which result in obesity.
Make Sure to Maintain Variety in Food
Kids are very choosy when it comes to food. Most of them avoid vegetables and prefer eating fast food which is not a healthy thing. You should develop a taste for everything among teens so that their body can get the required nutrition. If your kid does not like vegetables, then you can cook them with something they like such as chicken or beef. Keep experimenting with food just to bring variety and to avoid monotony. Try new dishes every week or at least once a month in order to introduce teens to different tastes.
Avoid pressurizing teens to eat any food or to avoid any food item as they may become rebellious. Instead, sit with them to create a meal plan they like. If they like burgers then you can make grilled burgers at home. Also, avoid insisting teens to finish their plate even if they do not want to, as eating more then what they want is also unhealthy.