Here are some great eating tips for feeding teenagers excerpted from Dr. Wood’s book, How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It!
- Use meals as a time to be social
Teens start to have other obligations and may not always make it to the family meal. Use family mealtime as a way to be social and catch up on news. Try not to use meals as a venue for stressful conversations or to settle problems. This is best done at a family meeting away from the dinner table. If your teens are not going to be home for dinner, it is reasonable for them to let you know where they will be eating.
- Try to offer suitable, healthy, quick foods for snacks and breakfast
Teens are often in a hurry and need quick and easy foods to grab for breakfast and snacks. Agree on some easy food choices to have available, and encourage them not to skip meals. Research has shown that kids who skip meals and are hungry had poorer performances on standardized testing.
- Allow teens to cook and menu plan
With more working couples, placing a home-cooked meal on the table can be a challenge. Today, more couples share in the responsibility of cooking. Teens can also share in some of the responsibility of cooking and meal planning. If you’ve been asking them to share responsibility all along, this should not be a difficult request. Asking them to plan one meal a week either alone or with one parent is a way to keep them involved.