The Best Fast Food for Teens
This is Molly, a peppy 14-year old I met at a Health Fair where I had a booth. Molly first caught my eye as she was juggling two pieces of fruit and be-bopping around. I got a kick out of her because she took a gigantic bite out of a huge apple, then stayed with the bite and walked around with this apple stuck in her mouth. I decided I must meet this creative, fun person since I tend to be drawn to creative, fun people!
Molly is a gymnast and told me she eats a lot of fruit, and not because she thinks it’s healthy, but because she actually loves it. Her mom came by and reinforced what Molly said. I could see why Molly had so much confidence- her mom seemed to really enjoy her daughter’s company.
For a moment, think about the fast food many teens eat… burgers, fries, chicken nuggets, nachos, etc. This is a “normal” phase for most teens, yet also a time when many of them ditch the fruit and veggies that parents worked so hard to get into their diets in the early years. Keeping teens on a a “fruit and veggie” habit can be as easy as handing them an apple, orange or banana when they dash out the door with their friends or head to sports practice. And truly, you are giving them the fastest food… its easy to unwrap, at perfect temperature, and ready to eat now when hunger strikes! Best of all, it’s nutritious and delicious!
Another approach is to have a bowl of baby carrots and celery with some Ranch dressing or fresh, washed grapes or cut-up pineapple in a bowl when they come from school. Instead of having chips on the counter, have a note that says “check the fridge” and have the bowls all ready for them.
As in sports, make sure if you want to win this one you eliminate the competition. You know… chips, candy, pop! Making them disappear from the pantry helps kids go searching for what is available. That’s when they find the good stuff (your bowls of fresh cut-up fruit or your veggie tray!)
My group coaching class Fit Family, Happy Family is a great way to join with other parents who are struggling with getting their families to eat healthy in the context of busy lifestyles. This tele-class starts up in June with 3 time options. Classes are limited to 8 people per session, so sign up soon!
Questions? I’m just an email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.