Teens, the awkward time when your children are maturing, but they are not yet an adult. Being a teenager can be a challenging time, their body is changing and they can feel self conscious, “what clothes will hide the bumps and what can I do about acne?” This stage can be confusing, not only for the teen, but also for parents as they try to teach their teen important life skills. Getting the teen in my household to eat proper meals instead of sugary snacks and too many pre-packaged foods is a challenge which I have started to address.
Educating teens on the benefits of food, how it will make them feel and what it will do to their body is a strategy I am using at home to help improve my teen’s diet. It is back to that 4 year old question, but why? Why isn’t it healthy? John in my class has this every day or it is available at the tuck shop. My answer: white bread won’t fill you up for as long as wholegrain bread and lollies won’t provide lasting energy when you are tired.
I’m sure you can relate to some of the statements I have received from my teen who comes home after school hungry, tired and grumpy after packing her own food - “I don’t like that”, “it’s cold”, “it bruises in my lunch box” and “I don’t eat them”. So with the aim of fostering a healthy, happy teen, my number one challenge was clearly the school lunchbox.
We have made some progress with my teen’s lunch box for the time being but she will need fresh new ideas and input from time to time. If you are concerned that your teenager is not getting all the nutrients he/she needs, whether it is showing through their energy levels or general health, you may want to consider an age-specific multi vitamin as a daily top up.