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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: Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, a mother of two and a registered dietitian, shares years of experience in getting people to eat more fruits and veggies.Read Her Full Bio

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