How To Keep Your Teens Healthy

The teenage years are essential in establishing lifelong habits, as they serve as a launching pad for adulthood. To keep your teens healthy and to set them up for a healthy start to adulthood, follow the three tips below.

1. Keep mealtimes screen-free.

As technology increasingly infiltrates daily life, people are spending exponentially more time in front of screens while watching TV, browsing the internet, and texting with friends. As a result, more and more people are eating while engaged with technology. Even though this is convenient and entertaining, it can also be quite dangerous because it can cause rapid weight gain. This is likely because sitting in front of a screen leads to distracted eating, which can cause people to overeat.

If your teens are addicted to technology, set a hard limit in your house about keeping mealtimes screen-free. Turn off the TV and leave devices off the table so as to not taunt or tempt your teens. As you're establishing this rule, emphasize that most casual meals at home are not lengthy affairs. In fact, most teens can wolf down their food fairly quickly, making the screen-free mealtime easier to digest.

2. Keep your teens hydrated with healthy liquids.

A teenage body and brain are developing at a rapid rate, so it's important that teens stay hydrated during this vital period of growth. Most people should drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day, and maybe even more if they play sports or are active throughout the day.

Teens often reach for trendy drinks like sugary sport drinks and caffeinated energy drinks, but these can actually be detrimental to their health. Caffeine can interfere with moods, sleep habits, heart rate, and blood pressure, and sugary drinks can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Instead of these trendy drinks, go with the simple choice: water. Water is widely available, free, and has no ill effects, making it the perfect drink for growing and active teenagers. If your teens don't like the taste or feel of your tap water, consider installing a water softener.

A water softener can take out different minerals of the water, which may otherwise lead to a chalky feel to the water and a metallic taste. When your water is filtered through a water softener, you're left with a water that tastes pure and doesn't leave calcium residues on water bottles, making it much more attractive to teens. You can learn more about water softeners through resources such as Hague Quality Water of Kansas City Inc.

3. Stock the kitchen with healthy and convenient snacks.

Hungry teens will often eat anything that is placed in front of them, and they'll usually eat what you provide if that means they don't have to spend their own money on food.

While grocery shopping, buy easy to store fruits like apples, bananas, plums, and peaches. Your kids can easily throw these into their bags and enjoy them on the way to school or other activities.

Also, granola bars can be stashed anywhere: lockers, backpacks, and cars so that your teens can eat a healthy snack wherever they may be. Look for granola bars with high fiber and protein, which work together to regulate digestion and help teens feel full for a longer period of time.

Teenagers enjoy increasing independence, but there's still a lot of room for parental influence in terms of developing healthy habits. Keep these tips in mind to help your teens make the right choices now.