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Find out how to encourage your tween or teen to make healthy food and drink choices when eating out.
Key points

Let your tween or teen make their own healthy lunches from dinner leftovers or nutritious food choices in the fridge.
Encourage wise choices at the school cafeteria and restaurants by emphasizing vegetables, fruit, whole grain and lean protein foods.
Have refillable water containers obtainable and encourage your child to drink water. This will help them avoid high- sugar and high-caffeine drinks.
Try not to label foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Tweens and teens are usually gaining independence and are likely to start making their own lunch, buying lunch at school and eating out with their friends. You can help them learn to make healthy food choices that will carry forward to a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
How can I improve my child’s diet?

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Bringing lunch

Let your child choose healthy school lunch items that they enjoy. Here are just a couple of options to get them started if they are bringing lunch from your home:

Leftovers from the night time before are excellent for simple lunches. Your tween or teen may take their choose and combine and suit. For instance, leftover cooked wholegrain pasta, dark brown rice or quinoa lead to a straightforward cold salad bottom. Include toppings like veggies, poultry, shredded cheese, avocado and sunflower seeds, merely to name several. Drizzle with a straightforward but tasty dressing manufactured from essential olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Your tween or teen may also make use of leftover chicken white meat or grilled salmon to produce a delicious sandwich that’s perfect for consuming on the run.
A complete grain pita filled with veggies and hummus is a portable, easy and healthy lunch. Other options include paneer, tofu, no-nut butter, sliced steak, tuna or cheese. Keeping your fridge stocked with a range of vegetables allows your tween or teen to get creative with the pita fillings. You may also use different flavours of whole grain tortillas to suit your tween’s or teen’s tastes.

Buying lunch
If your tween or teen is buying school lunches from the cafeteria, they may need your guidance on how to select healthy foods. You can discuss how eating a variety of nutritious food items will help enhance their focus and energy during the day. Claim that they limitation vending machine foods and ready-made foods that may contain an excessive amount of sodium (salt) and sugar. Shoot for fresh foods with plenty of protein, wholegrains and veggies. For example , they are able to choose:

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Baked or grilled poultry or fish
Burgers with plenty of vegetable toppings
Roasted potatoes or steamed rice
Salads with a number of brightly coloured vegetables-dressing could be privately so your kid can control just how much they eat
Wholegrain bagels with lotion cheese or tuna
Fruit or yogurt for dessert

Drink choices
Tweens and teenagers see a large amount of marketing for sugary, nutrient-poor drinks. Plenty of popular drinks such as carbonated drinks, supplement waters, sports beverages, energy beverages, sweetened juices, iced teas and specialized coffee beverages contain high levels of sugar, coffee and calories.

Here are some ideas to assist your tween or even teen choose healthy beverages:

Have re-usable water bottles obtainable. Get your child into the habit of bringing water to school every day. They can re- fill their bottle at school and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Have personal milk cartons on hand for lunches.
Try sparkling water beverages that are sweetened with a small amount of 100% fruit juice.
Talk to your tween or teen about avoiding drinks that contain caffeine, such as energy drinks, soft drinks and coffee. A number of these drinks are usually marketed towards tweens and teens and can seem enticing. One reason that these caffeinated drinks should be avoided is because they can have a negative effect on sleep patterns.

Eating at restaurants
Encourage your tween or teen to look for healthy menu choices such as for example those recommended below.

Healthful restaurant menu choices

Search for options with an increase of veggies, such as for example salads, mix fries, sandwiches, wraps or soups.
Try lean proteins options such as for example turkey chili, poultry kebobs, bean burritos, pea soup, quinoa or lentil salad, steamed edamame (soybeans), grilled tofu, or seafood.

Balancing comfort with nutrition
Eating at junk food restaurants or even buying convenience meals is simple and enjoyable pertaining to teenagers, however the reality will be that lots of ‘fast meals ’ have poor vitamins and minerals and are saturated in calorie consumption and sodium. For this reason, teens have to be alert to what they choose, just how much they will have and how usually they consume out.
To locate a balance, the main element word to keep in mind is ‘moderation’. Talk to your tween or teen about setting up a plan where they bring their lunch to school 80% of the time and eat out 20% of the time. Make realistic plans that are achievable and still allow for enjoyment of lunchtime.
You can encourage a healthy attitude towards food by encouraging your tween or teen to create a variety of choices without labelling any food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Instead, you might want to educate your tween or teen about ‘everyday food items ’ and ‘sometimes food items ’. A lifetime of healthy eating habits starts with a solid understanding that eating out of the house can be both pleasurable and healthy.

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