Have you ever walked into the living room on a Saturday morning to find your teen in her PJs watching TV with an entire bag of cookies half gone on the coffee table? A part of you wants to laugh at the scene, another part wants to yell at her for eating all the cookies (you wanted some of those!) and a large part of you is wondering how cookies for breakfast is affecting her health. Parents can’t watch their teens every second of the day, especially since they spend more and more time out of the house and begin to make their own money which they can use for fast food, candy, and all kinds of other junk. They’re past the age where you can sneak vegetables into their meals because they’ve learned all the tricks. You can still ensure that your teen is getting proper nutrition and that she learns to balance her own diet as she gets older.
Take Your Teen to the Store
For years, your children have gone food shopping with you and walked around while you checked off the items on your list, pointing out the snacks that they wish you would buy. As a mom, you know about presenting the choice to their children “pick ONE and that’s it!”
- Now that she’s older, show her how you compile your shopping list each week (now is the time to do this if you aren’t already!) and let her create her own. Give her a budget; point out the staples to a good diet that should be on her list and the things that should be limited.
- Bring her food shopping with you and have her shop alongside you with her own list. Before you go to the check out, see if she stuck to her list or if she was tempted to grab some extra snacks and then show her how you stuck to your list and why it is important to do so.
- When you get home, plan some meals and snacks using the ingredients that your teen chose. Explain how each one fits into a balanced diet.