Get to Know Your Teen

Get to Know Your Teen

No matter how fast your children grow up, they will always be your babies. As a parent, you want what is best for your teens, and that includes keeping them strong and healthy. Eventually, they will get too old for you to remind them to drink their milk or eat their vegetables, but that shouldn't stop you from paying attention to your teens’ health. And it's especially important that you remain aware of their wellbeing at this stage in their lives, because this is the time when they're most easily influenced by their peers and the media.

A combination of puberty and societal expectations can wreak havoc on a teenager’s own body image. Watch out for your teens if you notice a change in their diets and habits. Those who put themselves through strict diets during their teen years are more likely to do it into adulthood and are more prone to body dissatisfaction, depression, and nutrition deficiency. Help your teens become more mindful of how much they eat and what they eat.

In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, which puts them at risk for having elevated cholesterol. High cholesterol puts your teens at a higher risk of heart diseases in the future. You can help them lower their cholesterol by having them eat more fruits, vegetables, and high fiber foods such as oats, barley, and beans. These can all easily be enjoyed as snacks or in NutriBlast smoothies. While it's healthier to prepare food at home, however, your kids might opt for convenience and go out to buy food.

Today, teens are spending as much money on food as they are on clothing. As of 2015, Starbucks is the number one choice among teens for food and drinks. Many of their beverages, along with other energy drinks and enhanced waters, contain caffeine, which can increase agitation and anxiety among teens. Caffeine can also lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as lack of adequate sleep. Consumption of caffeine should be limited to 1.25mg of caffeine per pound of body weight. For example, if your teen weighs 115 pounds, he or she can consume up to 144 mg of caffeine.

Those teenage years can be tough. It will help your teens tremendously now and in the future if they start adopting healthy habits as early as possible. Encourage them to try new healthy foods to help them find something that they really like. Not only will they benefit from all the nutrients, but your teens will also find that they do not need to consume as much to be satisfied. And have them participate in more physical activities so they're not glued to the computer or television screens for too long. They might not give you the most enthusiastic response at first, but their future selves will thank you!

Wondering how we're getting teens across America to enjoy eating healthy? Learn more about NutriBullet University, a 90-day healthy eating program that introduces a simple, delicious way for students to enjoy fruits and vegetables.

Registered Dietitian


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