How to motivate your teen to make healthy choices.
Getting your teenagers to make healthy food choices can be a challenge. You want them to be independent, but you also want to guide them in the right direction. If your teen has ADHD they might also be struggling with impulse control and binge eating. Let’s face it, most kids would rather grab a bag of chips than spend time cutting up fruits or vegetables.
Here are some strategies to help your teen make healthier choices:
Knowledge is power
Bring awareness to how certain foods affect our mood, performance, sleep, weight, and long-term health. Your teen might find their own reasons to change their diet when they know the side effects of different foods.
Set an example and share the struggle
Lifestyle changes can be difficult therefore, it helps to get the whole family involved. If you are struggling with eating right, share that fact with your teen and discuss the feelings and struggles you have with making healthy choices. Then remind them (and yourself) that although change can sometimes be difficult - it will be worth it.
Create a lifestyle
Don’t let healthy eating be the exception. Gradually change the items on your grocery list so you don’t have junk food in the house. Keep fruits and vegetable snacks readily available and easy to access. Prepare them so they are clean, cut, and ready to eat.
There are many healthy substitutes that have the same great taste. For example, applesauce can be used to replace butter or sugar in baked goods. Click here to get more smart swap ideas!
Eat at home
Restaurant meals tend to have 33% more calories and give your teen the opportunity to make unhealthy choices. Try to eat at home and sit together as a family.
Don’t expect changes overnight and start with small goals. Consider a reward system or a competitive game within your family. You can set the stage for healthy eating habits, but your child will slip up here and there (and you may too). Try to keep the big picture in mind and verbally acknowledge and praise progress.
Play Attention improves focus, processing speed, and impulse control in every cognitive exercise. When your teen develops these skills, they will be more confident and in control of their choices! Call 800-788-6786 or click here to schedule a consultation and learn more.