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Have you ever heard the fact that teens’ brains are still growing? It’s strange but true: the brain doesn’t finish developing and maturing until the mid-20s. That’s without mentioning teens’ ongoing physical growth spurts!
When you consider these facts, it’s obvious that proper nutrition for teens is crucial. Having the right nutrients can help their bodies get the tools needed to continue developing, and a lack of nutrients can only hurt.
But when you’re not sure where to start—or how to get your child invested—it can be frustrating. Let’s take a look at a few simple ways to ensure better nutrition for your teen.
1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
One classic CDC report found that one in four high school students ate only one fruit or less per day, and one in three ate vegetables only about once per day.
Unfortunately, these habits aren’t great for the nutrition of a growing young adult. Make it easy on your teens by working to find the fruits and vegetables they love or prefer. While nutrition guides recommend getting a full spectrum of vegetables in diverse colors, starting with more of the vegetables your child will eat can help. Don’t forget to try a few easy ways to get more of these foods into their diet!
2. Experiment With Different Foods
If your teen is amenable, try experimenting with different foods. New dishes can bring a bit of interest to their meals, making them more likely to try a bite.
Depending on your teen’s tastes, foods from different cultures can be a safe bet. Many traditional dishes naturally complement each other, such as complete proteins like rice and beans or hummus and pita.
3. Have Nutritious Snacks Ready
When teens get hungry, they’re likely to reach for the first foods they see. Unfortunately, when those foods are Doritos and Pop-Tarts, they may not be getting the nutrition they need.
Make sure to stock up on healthy snacks that your child likes. From granola to guacamole, the right nutrient-rich snacks can keep hunger at bay while offering great nutritional value.
4. Supplement With Vitamins
Nutrition for kids can be hard to keep up with, especially when your busy life means you’re always on the go. To make sure you stay on top of your teen’s health, consider a multivitamin supplement to cover your bases. One great place to start is with multivitamins for kids from Vitabiotics for tablets, soft jellies, and capsules as needed.
5. Act as a Partner
You shouldn’t be the only one invested in your child’s dietary habits. Roping them into the nutritional changes you want to see can help ensure they’re invested in their long-term health! In some cases, this may mean acting like a partner instead of an authority figure.
Consider spending time together watching nutrition lessons for teens online, or finding simple but healthy recipes you can cook in tandem. Encourage your child to consider how their sports nutrition can affect their performance, or monitor your health together with activity trackers. These simple changes can help your teen learn proper nutritional habits without feeling as if they have no say in the matter.
6. Use Social Programs
As part of the social safety net, some organizations and charities supply food to children in need. All over the country, various communities put together lunch and meal programs to help hungry kids–especially during the summer months. All you need to do is find the appropriate number and follow the instructions to text for free food. These programs exist to help hungry kids and you should use them if you’re in need.
Follow These Tips to Ensure Proper Nutrition for Teens
Ensuring proper nutrition for teens doesn’t have to be an ongoing struggle. The simple methods above are great ways to pack more nutritional value into every bite they take! Though these steps will require a little forethought, the end result—better overall health—is well worth the time and effort.
Looking for more of the crucial life tips you need to know? Check out our other helpful guides for more info.