By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern
We all know that a lot of development occurs during the teen years of life. It is then that kids start to become the men and women that they were created to be. Besides growth spurts, voice changes, and everything else that occurs during this time, teens also start creating habits that they will often carry with them for the rest of adulthood. One of those habits that they will form is their eating habits, which will play a major role in their health later on.
The first habit that teens might develop is how they go about emotional eating. Often when feeling stressed or otherwise emotional, we resort to food to cope, but this can lead to unhealthy weight gain if junk food is our go-to, or if we eat it every time something is slightly stressful. A study shows that teens learn this behavior from their parents, so as a parent, it is important to set a good example for your kids by not reaching for that bag of chips when life gets tough. If they see you turning to food to cope with stress, then they’ll follow suit.
Another habit that teens develop is the kinds of food that they choose to consume. A second study shows that if teens get into the habit of eating highly processed foods during their teen years, they will be much more inclined to continue that eating pattern as they go into adulthood. We all know the negatives of eating junk foods on a regular basis, so helping teens to make smart food choices while young is a great way to keep them from some health consequences later in life, such as weight problems, heart disease, and more.
So, monitor what your teens are eating, and also watch what you eat around them to help them build good eating habits that will benefit them, not harm them as they continue to grow into adults.
For more health-related articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!