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Ask the Expert Archive

How do I get my teen to chose to stop only eating pizza from the school cafeteria every day for lunch and get him to eat a salad there?

Most parents make sure that young children eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. But teens often eat out, making many food choices on their own. This can be concerning to parents, so try these helpful tips:

  • Ask teens to help plan meals, shop for groceries, cook, and bake. These activities get teens thinking about a balanced diet. See Top 10 Ways to Help
  • Eat at least 3 or 4 meals together as a family each week. A family breakfast or weekend lunch may be most practical for some busy families.
  • Let teens know that all forms count toward their daily recommendation!
  • Teens are concerned about their teeth and bones since many are active in sports. Educate them on calcium rich vegetables!
  • Bring healthy foods home. Buy fewer foods high in fat and sugar and more fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a variety of fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, dried, and canned) in plain view. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the table. Cut up favorite vegetables and store them. This can increase fruit and vegetable consumption by 104% [Read more]
  • Be a good role model by eating right. Children adopt the eating habits of their parents. [Read more]
  • Encourage teens to eat breakfast. Pair fresh fruit with dry cereal, low-fat yogurt, or and low-fat granola bar for a quick and healthy breakfast.
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
Read Her Full Bio

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