Keeping an eye on what your teen eats at home is pretty easy, but it’s a different ball game when they have to go to college. This is because eating healthy isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. If it’s a struggle for most adults, then it can be difficult for your teen, too.
Eating healthy at college can be quite intimidating and challenging, especially for a teen. Sometimes unhealthy snacks may be too accessible, or school stress can push them to eat unhealthy meals for convenience.
If you’re worried about what your teen may be eating in college and want to find ways to help them stay on the healthy route, keep reading. Below are some helpful tips that will guide your college teen on eating healthy while they’re away. Let’s take a look!
Tip No. 1: Tiny Changes Promise Bigger Results
A common mistake parents have is that they change their teen’s diet completely in the hopes that they stick to this “healthier” routine. But the thing is, when you shock your teen with big changes, adjusting to it can be difficult. So instead of making significant changes right away, start with tiny steps instead.
Try to avoid overwhelming your teen by incorporating healthier food groups in their meals. For example, replace processed and high-sugar foods with whole foods or veggies, and have a sweet drink on the side. After a few days, you can take out the sweet drink and replace it with a healthier alternative, like fresh juice.
Tip No. 2: Only Offer Healthy Options
What you have at home is what you can control. Knowing that teens will usually just “grab and go,” it’s best to present healthier options for them to reach.
Instead of having unhealthy treats in your pantry, consider having healthier options. This way, they’ll reach for these alternatives and get used to this type of snack even when they’re away for college.
Tip No. 3: Talk About Health and Food
If you want to teach your teen to eat healthier even when they’re away, you need to explain why this is relevant to them. With that, choosing the right foods is only half the battle; the other battle is convincing them to stick to this route.
You can do this by talking to them about how unhealthy eating can affect their overall wellbeing, but keep in mind to never link food to their appearance. Instead, talk about how you can improve the way your body functions and moves with the right kind of diet.
Tip No. 4: Eat Together as Much as You Can
Before your teenager heads to college, make the most of the time they’re with you by having meals together. When you put a regular meal on the table, you can observe their relationship with food and how they interact with the changes you made in every meal.
This way, you can slowly make adjustments, creating a meal plan that is most suited for them. With this, they’ll find it easier to find the foods they crave and want in their diet, even when they’re away.
The Bottom Line: Start Shaping Your Teen’s Diet Before They Head to College
Leading by example is always a great way to influence your children. Make sure you are also making healthy choices at meals and when your preparing your own meals for work as well.
Meal kits are another great way to help your child stay on a good eating track while away for collage. They are easy to subscribe to and easy for your child to utilize after delivered. Most meal prep companies have done all the heavy lifting to make sure you are receiving quality and well-balanced meals.
When your teen goes away to school, it’s another taste of independence, but of course, you want to ensure that they’re eating right even when they’re away. By following the tips above, you’ll get to help mould a healthier diet for your teen, something they can take with them even when they’re off to college.