Monday, June 22, 2015

10 Healthy Eating Tips for Teen Boys

There are a lot of teenage boys at my house, 5 of them to be exact. I feel like I am watching a hungry highway that runs night and day through my kitchen. (and sometimes the downstairs food storage).

And although summer is fun, and there are a lot of great "summer foods" - and also because I have zero desire to cook 8 meals a day (and do 8 meals worth of dishes) I am taking this opportunity this summer to really teach and hopefully set some good habits for a lifetime of healthy growing and eating.

Teens grow a lot! And they need a lot of fuel to power that growing body and mind. They need the best kind of fuel - to be able to keep up with their summer jobs, sports, household chores (wink!) and those 3 inches they are going to sprout up this 110 weeks!

Here are 10 tips for Teen Boys that they need to know to grow. Info from Choose My Plate

1. Get over the idea of magic food, miracle diets and do-it-all pills. The very best way to eat for any stage in your life is to get a balance of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and to limit healthy fats; to cut down on added sugar and to limit processed foods. Diets and ways of eating will always come and go in and out of style, most are not healthy for adults and most certainly not for growing teens. Give your body and mind the best resources to help you be your best.

2. How to not always be "so hungry".  Whole grains can provide you with the fiber that you need to feel full and stay less hungry longer. Grains have been getting a pretty bad rap in the media lately, but don't be fooled. Whole grains are Amazing for you! Try to make half or your grains whole and limit your consumption of grains that have been overly processed. You'll stay full longer and be giving your body key nutrients that it needs. For a quick snack or some speedy energy have some veggies or a piece of fruit.

3. Keep water on hand. Despite what the soda companies, energy drinks, sports ads, rock stars and corner stop 'n go marts say... Water is the best drink for you body! Get a bottle and keep in with you, in your backpack, in your sports bag, in your car, next to your desk. Water provides so many key processes in your body, it helps you to feel better, eat / crave less junk and makes your skin look amazing!! Plus if you get a reusable water bottle and refill it, then you doing something cool for the planet and that is amazing too.

4. Make a list of your favorite foods - or foods you would like to try. Give this list to your family food shopper - and ask nicely for them to help you out. Do you prefer apples over pears - green over red. What about string cheese, or whole grain crackers instead of chips. Do you have a favorite flavor of yogurt? Have you been wanting to try a mango or tofu? You're smart! You know what foods are good for you - ask your parents to have them on hand for you to eat. (Plus since they are almost always cheaper than chips, sodas and cookies - they are going to be happy to get them for you)

5. Start being your own chef. Get over being hungry and snacking yourself crazy... Make some food! Cook up an omelet with lots of veggies, Grill up a quesadilla filled with protein and flavor, Learn to cook spaghetti or tacos or your favorite meal "just like mom used to make". You'll be giving yourself a life long skill and it will probably turn out to be something you really enjoy doing.  ** remember to clean up after yourself - trust me, Your parents will thank you for that **

6. Skip foods that can add unwanted pounds or that have ZERO nutritional value. Start healthy habits now of limiting foods that are extremely fatty like bacon, ribs and hot dogs. Limit foods that should be occasional treats like cakes, cookies and ice cream. And try to cut out completely foods that provide absolutely nothing but negative effects on your body. (I'm looking at You soda!)

7. Learn how much food you need. Teen boys need more food than most adults, more than teen girls and definitely more than children. Find out exactly how much you need by going to Super Tracker. 

8. Check Nutrition Facts - and make it a habit. Take responsibility for what you put into your body. Just because it is in your fridge or pantry doesn't make it a green-light food. Parents and adults make poor food choices too at times - don't use this as an excuse to make bad ones yourself. Check the vitamins and minerals - calcium and vitamin D are especially important for growing bodies. Always check the sugars and fats - especially trans fat.  If you can't read or understand the ingredients it probably isn't a good idea to be putting in your body.

9. Strengthen your muscles. Get Up! Get Moving! Work on Strength training as well as aerobic activities. Work out at 10 minutes a time, spend some time outside, You still need at least 60 minutes of activity.

10. Fill your Plate like MyPlate. Choose My Plate  It doesn't get much easier to follow than this.