When it comes to talking about weight loss or body issues with teenagers, it is vital we, as mums, thread very carefully to avoid making our sons and daughters self-conscious.


However, if you are concerned about your teen's eating habits you shouldn't just sit around and wait for things to sort itself out because it won't. 


Rather than telling them they need to change their food habits, you can subtly do it for them, especially if you do the grocery shop and tend to make their meals for them. 


1. Don't buy sweets and biscuits 

When you are doing the family shop, just skip the biscuit aisle. Not only will you save yourself a fortune but if they are not in the house your teen won't be able to eat them.


2. Add one extra piece of veg to their dinner 

Whether it's just a carrot or a few peas, if it is on their plate and they are hungry they will eat it. They generally won't notice and it is a great way for them to get their five-a-day. 



3. Substitute with healthier alternatives 

Replace oven chips with sweet potato fries or your daily chicken with fish at least once a week. Easy, subtle and good for the whole family. 


4. Leave prepared fruit and veg in the fridge 

Your teen is more likely to eat fruit if it is ready and waiting for them in the fridge. Even if they just pick at it they will be getting the benefit - more than they would if they were snacking on chocolate bars. 


5. Make sure they have breakfast

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and your teen should be having a bowl of porridge or muesli in the morning to keep them going. If your son or daughter struggles to get out of bed then you may have to get up a little earlier and have it prepared so they can grab and go. 



6. Avoid having dinner too late 

The later you dish up dinner the less time your teen will have to burn it off before they have to go to bed. If possible, serve them dinner as soon as they come in from school; they are generally 'starving' at this time of the day and they can have something small before bed if they are still hungry. 


If you are still worried about your teen's eating habits, consult with your GP before it gets out of hand. 


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