Moms, do you worry about what your teens might be eating away from home? As your children grow up and spend more time away from the home, it’s important to teach them to choose snacks and drinks on their own to help them learn healthy choices early in life. Healthy habits now lend to your child keeping healthy habits for the rest of their life. Here are some tips on how to help your children choose healthier options as they start doing more things on their own.
At a Convenience Store:
- Choose options that fit into one of the MyPlate food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, or grains.
- Fruits, nuts, and yogurt are usually good options and easy to find at convenience stores.
- Choose less often: candy, potato chips, soda and pastries
Drinks away from home:
- Your child can carry a water bottle so they can have water throughout the day instead of buying sugary drinks from vending machines or convenience stores.
- Many places, including schools, have water fountains so your child can refill their water bottle throughout the day as needed. This will not only save money but also cut down on their calorie and sugar intake.
- Avoid soda and other sugar sweetened drinks, like coffee drinks with flavor syrups or lots of added sugar. If your teenager does drink coffee, 1% or skim milk are better options than creamer or half and half.
Pack Snacks on the Go
- If healthy options away from home are hard to find, come up with ideas together to pack a weekly supply of snacks to grab and go before school.
- Several protein-packed options (to help keep your teen fuller longer) could include:
- Trail mix with nuts
- Apple, banana or celery with peanut butter
- Low fat greek yogurt with berries.
Read this post for even more ideas on smart snacks. What are some portable snack ideas that your teens enjoy?