The teenage years are filled with physical and emotional changes, for both girls and boys.
More and more, we see that many boys want to change their body image just like girls. However, they have a huge appetite as they grow and develop! How can you help them and educate them about healthy eating, without making them feel more guilty?
First of all, in adolescence as well as in adulthood, it is very important to listen to your hunger and satiety, since these are the signals that allow you to know when and how much to eat. It is therefore important not to neglect the signs of hunger (gurgling, lack of concentration, loss of energy, etc.), to take your time and have fun eating, in order to avoid this hunger accumulates later in the day. Ignoring these signals will often be detrimental to healthy weight management in the long run.
That being said, we can help them optimize their daily diet by making sure to distribute food intake well in regular meals and snacks, throughout the day and by favoring foods that will support them frome one meal to another. You can encourage them to favor sources of fiber (whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) and good quality protein in their meals and snacks (meat, poultry, fish, tofu, eggs, legumes, cheese, yogurt, nuts and seeds) in addition to a smaller or larger source of carbohydrates (fruit, grain products, milk or yogurt) depending on their daily activities. Hydration is often overlooked in adolescents as well as sleep. These factors also contribute to increased appetite and lack of energy.
Here are a few examples of nutritious snacks to suggest to them or simply to make available at home:
- Greek yogurt + fruit and granola
- Mix of nuts / seeds + fruit
- Homemade high fiber muffin
- Crackers + cheese
- Energy ball or homemade tender bar + fruit
- Cottage cheese and raw vegetables
- Soy and banana drink
- Almond or peanut butter sandwich
In short, we must above all teach them to listen to their hunger, their body, their desires and to take pleasure in eating and cooking! Depriving yourself of food is not the solution. It is rather by eating a varied and balanced diet that you achieve long-term optimal nutrition, healthy weight management and a positive relationship with food!