I'm not going to lie, I am a mom with two teenagers, and it has been hard at times to encourage them to eat healthily. It's even harder when you are faced with the challenge of packing lunch for school or work every day! But don't worry, this blog will give you some tips on how to make it easier.
For most of my clients, sticking to a diet plan is paramount for reducing tics, improving focus, and tackling sensory processing issues.
However, teenagers want to eat ALL the junk! Parents ask me all the time how to help them stay away from the junk.
Well, I'm happy to say that there are numerous ways to help teenagers and children eat healthier without giving up on what they like. Eating healthy for them doesn't have to be all about veggies and raisins.
Focus on what you can control: Keep healthy food in the house and stock the fridge with fruits and veggies. Avoid the packaged processed junk and anything that comes in a box, bag, or bottle with a barcode. Since you most likely do the grocery shopping, you control what food is in your home. For example, they love pizza. There are some fantastic gluten-free options you can try at home. Wholly Gluten-Free Pizza Dough is our go too.
Encourage them to eat at home: If your kids are in school, they most likely eat breakfast and dinner at home. If you are sending them with a sack lunch, you also have control over what they eat at lunch. If you make a healthy breakfast and lunch, your child avoids junk two out of three meals a day.
Make one change at a time: If you have a child that needs to be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, etc...make one change at a time. For example, remove gluten for a month before you remove dairy. This will help them to get used to changes slowly.
Make a list: If you have a teen driver who can hit a drive-thru, make a list. Map out all of the restaurants and the items at each acceptable restaurant. This way, they don't feel like they are missing out when their friends want chick-fil-a
Teach them to cook: Most will learn to love it, and this way, you can teach them all about healthy, nutritious ingredients. I don't know how to check out Kids Cook Real Food with my dear friend Katie Kimball. She teaches online cooking classes that the whole family will love. Find her HERE
Eating healthy is just one of the things I teach my clients whose children are struggling with tic disorders. If you want to get started, grab my Overcoming Tic Disorders Cheat Sheet HERE.