8 Essential Healthy Eating Tips for Teens and Preteens ...

I've seen a lot of people asking about healthy eating tips for teens, an important subject that really is helpful. As preteens and teenagers, you're still growing and developing, so you should always consider where you are in terms of your development. As your body changes inside, things outside go a little hinky. That may mean gangling limbs, round cheeks, or lots of acne. Truthfully, no matter what you're experiencing, eating healthy foods for teens will benefit you. If you're interested in what you should and should not be putting into your body, take a look at these essential eating tips for teens.

1. Get Plenty of Protein

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Protein is an essential part of your diet, especially at this stage of your development. As you'll see, the most important healthy eating tips for teens inform you of the things you need to have in your diet, versus foods you can't eat. There are lots of ways to get the protein you need, from healthy meats to vegan and vegetarian options. You can eat chicken or soy, nuts or beef. Cheese and eggs are great, as are beans and seeds.

2. Don't Break up with Carbs

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This is one healthy eating tip for teens that may make a lot of you happy. You absolutely do not have to cut carbohydrates completely out of your diet. In fact, you shouldn't; you need some carbohydrates, you just need to stay away from the simple kind. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while moderating your sugar intake, especially when it comes to treats.

3. Make Smart Choices

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If you eat lunch at school, making healthy choices is hard. It's not nearly as bad as it used to be, though. In most schools, there are healthy alternatives to the usual cafeteria choices. So, instead of eating a burger or a slice of gooey pizza, opt for a hearty salad, a sandwich, a wrap, or something like that.

4. Stay Hydrated

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Although this isn't necessarily an eating tip, it's still important – and there are lots of ways to stay hydrated. Drinking water is especially important, of course, and you really should try to drink the recommended eight glasses a day. You can also eat fruits and veggies or drink natural juices, but water should be your primary source.

5. Skip the Soda

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You should definitely stay away from soda. This is one of the hardest but most important healthy eating tips for teens – and everyone else. Soda is full of sugars and simple carbs, and in all honesty it just makes you feel thirstier. Opt for a healthier alternative, because even tea and coffee have their benefits.

6. Make It Yourself

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Think about skipping the cafeteria food altogether and even limiting your fast food indulgences (which should be minimal, of course). By making your own meals and snacks throughout the day; this way you'll learn about making healthful foods, portion control, and cooking itself. Making yourself breakfast and lunch ensures you won't skip meals, which is crucial, and you know you have great foods. Make dinner for your family when you can, because then you'll be helping them eat better, too.

7. A Family Affair

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Speaking of which, healthy foods for teens are healthy foods for everyone else as well. Sharing with your family is a great idea. You can all motivate each other, teach each other good habits, and even bond with each other. Training yourself to eat the right foods is daunting at any age because you have to unlearn bad behaviors. The earlier you start the better, but it's never too late!

8. Take Your Time

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Lastly, when you're eating, take your time whenever you can. Hey, it's better for your digestion! Worse, when you eat too quickly, trying to cram in too much at lunch time or rushing for the bus during breakfast, the sense of urgency can make you get hungrier sooner. Your mind and body may not register that you're full. Besides, when you're in a rush, it's much easier to grab the convenience foods. Naturally, they're generally bad for you, packed with bad fats, carbs, and sugars.

As you read, the best eating tips for teens advocate moderation and being careful, but not obsessing. There's plenty of room for your favorite foods and guilty pleasures, you just can't eat them all the time. No one can! Never mind about skinny, you just need to eat healthy; that's far more important. Don't obsess, just make smart choices. If you have any other eating tips for teenagers that help you, please share!

Sources: betterhealthusa.com, livestrong.com, teenadvice.about.com

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