Is my teenager’s weight normal?
As if moms didn’t have enough to worry about, eventually your teenagers’ weight will hit your anxiety radar.
While we don’t want to body shame our kids, their habits as teenagers can be predictors of their future lifestyle, so it’s important that we help them adopt healthy behaviors – even if they just want to live on pizza, sodas and fast food. Let’s take a look at some tried-and-true methods for ensuring your teenager learns to follow a good diet that will allow them to achieve their ideal weight.
It Starts With You
Between work, running to soccer practice, picking up your daughter from dance lessons and running a household, it’s often easier to whip into a drive thru,, place an order from an electronic menu and have your dinner handed to you through your car window. But we know that’s not healthy eating.
Chances are good that your many responsibilities also include grocery shopping. Stock your pantry with healthy snacks, (teenagers do love to eat!) and skip the sugary sodas. Follow these 10 steps for healthier grocery shopping to help you make the best choices at the supermarket. As much as possible, shop the perimeter of the store and avoid center aisles. And always make a list and stick to it. Smart shopping is a first step to help you and your teenagers lose weight.
Breakfast Is A Must
You know what a chore it is to get teenagers out of bed in the morning. They’ll argue endlessly for 10 more minutes of sleep. They’re even willing to forgo breakfast – the most important meal of the day – for a little more shut eye.
But, according to WebMd, skipping breakfast can lead them to making poor food choices by the time lunch rolls around. Avoiding a morning meal can seriously affect teenagers weight, so make certain they have something healthy every morning.
Focus On Healthy, Not The Scale
Teenagers have enough social pressure on them as it is, so it’s not a good idea to constantly nag at them about their weight, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Don’t talk to them about numbers or their ideal weight. Instead, put healthier practices into place like eating at home, getting them involved in shopping and meal preparation and having fruits and veggies available when they get the urge to snack.
Set A Good Example
From a very early age, our kids hear us complain about our own bodies, whining about stubborn belly fat or our “muffin top.” Instead of criticizing, do something about it.
Your teenager’s life seems to revolve around his or her electronic devices, to encourage them to ditch the phone and join you on a brisk walk or doing a home exercise video. (Yes, they’ll make fun of you, but don’t they always?) Find fun activities that your teenager will enjoy like taking a rowing class or kick boxing. It may take a little prompting, but once they discover the physical activity they most enjoy, they’re more likely to stick to an exercise regiment. Bonus: You get to spend some quality time together.
Remember Why It Matters
Adopting a healthier lifestyle, make seem like a big step, but make a plan and implement it. A teenager’s weight, especially if it’s too high, can lead to other serious health problems later in life. It’s not just a matter of appearance; teenagers who are heavy face a greater risk of high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and other very serious illnesses, according the John Hopkins School of Public Health.
We love our kids just as they are. But when it comes time to admit that their weight is an issue, it’s up to us to take gentle but appropriate action. We wouldn’t encourage our kids to embrace other unhealthy habits, so why not start insisting on a healthy diet, a regular exercise routine and, of course, serve as a role model for them? The healthful practices we put into place in their teenage years can have big dividends as they mature into well and vigorous adults.