Motivating the teenagers to eat right, exercise more and live healthy

@mimpi1911 (25454)
India
November 9, 2011 9:44am CST
It's hard to keep your cholesterol level OK with all those burgers, hotdogs, pizzas, cheese, chocolates, fries. Things get even more difficult for the children, teens to be specific. They are not really grown ups but they think they are. They are motivated yet not quite so. Your endeavor to make them understand might not be taken in the right spirit. You run into the risk of being not understood, dominant etc. Inspite of all your effort, things get worse. How will you deal with teens like this? How do to make them understand the importance of eating right and eating less? How do you make them understand that the little wise steps they take now will going to make them what they will become a few years later? Thank you.
1 person likes this
18 responses
@Rosa26 (2620)
• United States
9 Nov 11
There are a lot of things that parents can do teach the kids to eat properly I think talking with him is one of the best things we can, make then to understand the risk of eating too much fast food, dringking to soda,and avoiding the vegetables, doing all of that can bring a big problem to the boy of our child, I have notice that when a doctor give advises to my son he listend to him more than me and try to eat better,so we can do that too,but deffinitely soda for example is something that our children have to avoid.A can of regular soda contains the equivalent of about 7 ½ teaspoons of sugar – already about half the recommended daily intake for teenage boys and girls. Iced teas and fruit flavored drinks are also high on sugar. Parents can explain this to teens, and offer healthier options like water (no calories!). If they crave a sweet fix they can get fresh juices or milk which are rich in nutrients and naturally sweetened. One good parenting tip is to offer home-cooked versions of their favorites. You can still serve pizza or burgers but by making it at home you can control the salt and achieve flavor through natural seasonings and spices. Encourage your child to drink milk (offer low-fat or skim milk versions if she is concerned about weight loss) and include high-calcium vegetables like green leafy vegetables in your meal plan. Here’s a great parenting tip. Serve high-fiber breakfasts like cereal, whole grain bread and oatmeal so you know your teen gets the right amount of fiber a day.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Nov 11
With all those cholesterol foods, we must tell the teenagers that they should be eating less of that now. They should start healthy living as early as possible so that they won't be having problems in the future. But the question is how do we tell them that? Perhaps we should keep reminding them and perhaps set a good example for them so that they will follow.
• Cyprus
10 Nov 11
You are right, we should let them know what will happen to them if they will be eating all those fast foods and keep reminding them. Say it only once never works, we should tell them again and again.
• Philippines
12 Nov 11
Yeah, you're right. Telling them only once won't do. We should keep reminding them so they would keep it in mind always.
@MaryLynn321 (2680)
• United States
9 Nov 11
When my children were teenagers. I just made sure I had healthy snacks for them and also healthy meals. We also lead by example and tried to eat healthy. That is all we can do. How they choose to eat when they are grown is there choice. Hopefully they will choose to eat properly and healthy.
• Cyprus
10 Nov 11
It's good to prepare the meals of your children on your own. You know exactly what they are going to eat, but as you said, you cannot do this for their whole life. They will grow and leave, create their own family, then they will be cooking and eating as they want. Parents should always try to do their best although.
• United States
11 Nov 11
So very true Stellak, all we can do is give our children a good example to go by, teach them to cook, clean, do laundry, sew, garden, etc. These things they will carry with them for life. Hopefully they will choose wisely in what they decide to do, whether it is eating properly, etc.
1 person likes this
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
9 Nov 11
I understand what you are saying. I alwasy try talking to younger people about these things but they just seem to have the idea of "today they say something is good for you than tomarrow they say its not. So Just do what you like" I let them also know that the real key to everything is moderation.
• Cyprus
10 Nov 11
Lots of teens are thinking this way, is their age and the free spirit. They don't really care about the future, they just enjoy the present. We should let them know what is good and what's not, but they will choose what to do.
@mayka123 (10598)
• India
9 Nov 11
You think it is possible to make the teens understand the importance of keeping the cholesterol level ok? I have given up telling my kids anything or for that matter my nieces and nephews. For them the burgers and hotdogs are any day better than the home cooked food. With my kids burgers and noodles are better than dal and rice or vegetables and chapati.
@Hatley (164652)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Nov 11
mayka teens is too late you should have started serving only good foods to them as toddlers and a s they grew explain whats good and whats not good as seeing their parents eating good healthy food is the best examptle they could have little ones will mimic their parents, not teens thats too late but still make a good example and it might get thruogh the teen angst to their teen brains.
• Cyprus
10 Nov 11
You shouldn't give up especially with your kids, try to explain them again and again! I would suggest you to cook them their favorite foods at home, in healthy way. Hatley is right, they should learn from toddlers about healthy eating, when they become teenagers, is difficult to change way of thinking.
@EdnaReyes (2628)
• Philippines
10 Nov 11
Teenagers like to eat junk foods and teaching them not to is not that easy. On my part, since my daughter lunch out and I know she's eating those burgers and other stuff so when it's dinner time, she must eat what I cooked. Mostly fish dishes and healthy bowl of greens and fruits.
• Cyprus
10 Nov 11
That's also a good way to force teenagers to eat at last one healthy meal. Dealing on one lunch at home, you will cook it for them and you will know that they have eaten something good in the whole day.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
12 Nov 11
Well, one thing that I've been doing with my children since they were small was trying to lead with a good example. By doing that, they see us eating healthy and therefore they want to eat healthy as well. Additionally, we try to take family outings on a regular basis where we are able to get out and be active together since it is not only good for my husband and myself, it is also giving our two children an appreciation of a healthy lifestyle.
@drannhh (15227)
• United States
11 Nov 11
First on my list would be setting a good example. Next I would try to make healthy foods seem COOL. Then I would sympathize with them and say, "It must be really hard for you to eat smart with all the temptations out there" and "I am SO proud of you when you try!" I would assign my teen if I had one to be the meal planner on occasion and give some general guidelines but then let him or her have authority within those guidelines and prepare say one meal a week, or whatever. (sample guidelines, meal cannot cost over $xx.xx, must have 3 vegetables, no artificial ingredients,
10 Nov 11
I think teenagers must be aware to their self they must be seen what now reality that there's so many like them became to a big fat body. Discipline must be involve here!
@WakeUpKitty (8707)
• Netherlands
10 Nov 11
I never heard of any teenager with a high cholesterol level. Bad food habits have nothing to do with motivating to eat right and exercise more but with giving the good example by raising them that way. So we eat at home, cook ourself (no fastfood), if we go to a restaurant no mc whatever. Take the time to walk or bicycle over with them to somewhere so it's normal instead of taking the car. I don't have any of these problems not with my already grown up kids (they are all slim and even never had 1 whole in any of their teeth the eldest is 27 years old) or with my younger kids (the youngst just became 6 years old). We do eat chocolate too or some cookies but not on a regualar base (daily) and I don't have a cupboard full of potato chips, candies, cookies etc etc. We also don't drink soft drinks. So parents if your teenagers are unhealthy blame yourself. If you eat healthy you don't feel the need to eat a lot of candies/sugar to feel better or the fast food with all the transfats which are dangrous for the body.
@stellak12 (384)
• Cyprus
10 Nov 11
In my opinion the best way is to explain them why is not good to eat unhealthy food. Be a good example for them and if they still eating fast foods and too much sweets I believe we should show them pictures of people who got sick because of what they were eating. This might shock them and start thinking serious the healthy way of eating.
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
10 Nov 11
The only thing that can be done in such situations is to make sure that the food that is being prepared at home is healthy. We cannot control what children eat when they're not at home, but we can control what is being prepared at home. If you think that your teen is eating junk food outside, then prepare healthy meals at home. Also incorporate a lot of veggies and fruits.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
10 Nov 11
It's hard to get through to those teens about healthy eating habits. They often want junk..lol. I don't keep my children from having junk but I do limit what I have inb the house. I also tried to get them into some type of extra activity. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Some teens tend to get very lazy for a certain period of time. I guess the biggest thing in my opinion would be to set an example by what you eat and the things you do. Most of the time if they are raised in an active household with certain food choices, they pick up the habit somewhat.
• United States
10 Nov 11
I'm only eighteen years old. I didn't care that much about exercising or eating healthy until I started gaining weight my sophomore year in high school. That's when I really started exercising a TON and eating better. I cut soda completely out of my diet, along with a lot of sweets. I think there were two problems with the way that I was brought up: 1.) I was never really told by my parents (both of whom are overweight) to eat healthy and exercise, and 2.) I never continued doing sports after the fourth grade. I think it's important for parents to instill knowledge into their kids about getting healthy eating habits and for the kids to engage in some kind of regular physical activity. Even if the kids don't understand it, parents should be adamant in this. Their kids will appreciate it in the long-run. I definitely would've, rather than playing catch-up in a later stage of my life.
@viney17 (688)
• Philippines
9 Nov 11
I myself am a victim of cholesterol. It's just too hard to resist those foods mentioned above and other foods. You wont know the importance of being healthy until the time you begin to lose it. What's bad for our body is good in our heart, not literally in our heart, but well the feelings and things like that. We teenagers really wanted to be grown ups i think you felt that in the past too. Those prohibition and forbidden things, some of that annoys us, because there are things that we really want to do but is not allowed until the 'right' age. I might ask what really is that 'right' age? For me it's not the numerical value but is the personality. Our generation is really living an unhealthy life, computer all day, no exercise, unhealthy food, you might ask why? First off most of those old ones wanted us to study hard, that's actually what we are doing. Class hours in our country is 10 to 12 or 13 hours a day 5 to 6 days a week. That's for high schoolers in private schools, if you include projects and assignments that will not be finished even after 5 hours, how much sleep can we get? We need computers for our subject, if we go to the library instead of browsing the internet then it would take much time. Some of us didn't even have time for leisude, even our sundays our being taken up by those freaking assignments. Next, the food, well im guilty, those foods that tastes good is actually bad for our body, but we need foods that can be cooked quickly and eat quickly so the digestion of food isn't really right. I agree vegetables really is healthy but there really are people that do not really like them (including me). But i also think that as the years pass, teenagers will learn to eat vegetables, i know a few adults that really do not eat vegetables when they are young, but now they are 'in the age' they eat vegetables now and it seems that they are normally eating it and not being forced to.
@Hatley (164652)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Nov 11
mimpi why not set a good even great example when they are toddlers and eat healthy foods and serve only healthy foods. little ones mimic the adults and by the time they are teens they are used to healthy foods and have learned to make healthy choices. sometimes their friends tease them because they do not eat a lot of junk food but they have been taught what foods are healthy and will make them feel great when they get into various school sports. do not wai till they are teens as then you have nothing but battles over good versus bad unhealthy foods.
@alokn99 (5717)
• India
9 Nov 11
I see an example of this everday at home in the form of my nephew. And the last time someone tried to give him some advice on this, that person was reprimanded by his mother. It's undoubtedly motivation that is needed. It's not that they don't get it. but it comes in short bursts. For ex, my very nephew wanted to start swimming and some sports activities. He gave it a start, but then stopped. Reason- Lack of friends attending. Motivation can also be in the form of a reward, at least for some of the sporting acitivities. Educating them of the risks, and when i say educating them, it could mean instilling some amount of fear of the disastrous effects of these habits. Kids today will come around to understand. It needs patience, trial and error and encouragment and being stern when required. The motivation in my view has to come from within and I think will come once they start seeing some results.
@Kish2328 (71)
• United States
9 Nov 11
I hear you - infact, me and my husband is not just dealing with our teen eating healthy but on overall aspect such as his behavior and values. Now that he is a young man, he dragging his life in the other direction which we fear about. But anyway, in regards with food for the teens, my husband is really strict when it comes to that. He is very healthy and always conscious about what we eat. Our kids will always ask us if they can have this and that, before taking it to their mouth. We also make sure that we only buy food which are healthy and at school, they always gives us a menu for the month so we know what are the food our kids have been eating. Teens are always teens and no matter how much we preach them or teach them about life, they will never understand it not unless they experience it themself. Just like a child who is told not to play with candle because it'll burn you and it'll hurt but still insist to do so... And when he was burnt and hurt, that's where the child learns. Experience is life's best teacher but I do hope our teens will realize things when its not too late.