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ADOLESCENCE: Healthy Weight/Healthy Nutrition/Physical Activity

SECTIONS: Eating Healthy ~ Healthy Weight ~ Physical Activity/Sports


Eating Healthy

  • 4 young women on a winning basketball teamSupport good nutrition (eating habits) by keeping a variety of healthy foods at home and encouraging healthful food choices.
  • Limit high-fat or low-nutrient foods and drinks (candy, chips, and soft drinks).
  • Provide 3 or more daily servings of low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk and other low-fat dairy products.
  • Provide lots of fruits and vegetables, especially colorful ones.
  • Serve lean meats, chicken, fish, and other sources of protein and iron.
  • Serve whole-grain breads, cereals, and other grain products.
  • Use community nutrition programs and food resources as needed. Ask your health care provider, or see Resources on Healthy Weight.
  • Eat together as a family as often as possible. Make meals pleasant family times.


Healthy Weight

  • Support your teen's healthy weight. Help her balance eating healthy foods and being physically active. Help her understand that fad diets don't work long term.
  • Help your teen limit screen time (TV, phone calls, texting, e-mail, chat, social networking, videos, video gaming, DVD, or computer), not counting homework. Work together to set guidelines and discuss a balance of active and inactive pastimes.
  • Help your youth be physically active. Walk around the mall before shopping, go on a hike, ride bikes, garden or. . .vacuum!


Physical Activity/Sports

  • Encourage your teen to explore interests and find activities he enjoys—especially ones he can do lifelong.
  • Some teens like to play organized sports. As teens get older, sports often become more competitive. If your teen doesn't enjoy the pressure, look beyond the competitive sports to other types of physical activities such as community leagues, or sports like swimming, tennis, hiking, and running clubs where all are welcome.