Healthy eating for teens
We know it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re out with friends, but it’s not impossible. These days, it’s so important to choose well. Whether it’s in line at the cafeteria, at the movies or at a fast food restaurant, you can do it. Follow these steps below to eat right.
1. Have a sweet or snack every so often
It’s OK to eat out sometimes, as long as it’s not all the time. Feel free to grab an ice cream cone or eat a cheeseburger. Just make sure it’s only once in a while.
2. Eating healthy when out with friends
You can do it. More and more restaurants have healthy choices. Get a sandwich on wheat or multigrain bread. Don’t use the high-calorie sauces. Look to the basics of healthy eating below. Try to pick something that you enjoy. When in doubt, order a salad.
Water is the best way to get fluids. Cutting back on sugar is important. Try a zero-calorie or sugar-free drink instead of a regular soda. Stay away from sports drinks except when you’re sweating a lot as they have too much sugar.
4. Remember to follow the BASICS
- Fruits and veggies are key. Try to include one at every meal.
- Stay away from sugar: Our bodies weren’t meant to handle the amount of sugar we tend to eat. Try to cut back. That goes for other “quick carbs,” like chips.
- Whole grains: If you’re going to have carbs, make sure they’re multigrain. That means when you have a sandwich, order wheat bread. Choose brown rice or wheat pasta instead of white rice or regular pasta. If your only choice is a white food, try to limit it.
- Lean meats: We all need protein, but try to choose chicken, turkey or fish. Have them grilled or baked, not fried. Definitely choose beef and pork. But since they’re fatty, try to eat less. Remember other protein sources: nuts, tofu, beans and eggs.
5. Ask for healthy foods
We often have young adults tell us that they would eat healthy if there were healthy foods in the house. Try asking for them. Make a list of all the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and healthy snacks that you do like and give it to your parents.
6. Get involved
Take charge of a part of the family garden and plant whatever you like. Ask to help with the cooking. You never know, you could be a top chef in the making.