Vegetables for Teenagers
Teenage years can be a challenging time for young people; social and academic pressures, combined with rapidly changing bodies and increasing hormone levels can make this time very challenging for teens and their family. Fresh vegetables will help provide the nutrients that are so necessary at this time.
Be a good role model:
It is important that you and your family all eat and enjoy fresh vegetables.
Providing meals for teens:
This is different to feeding babies and younger children, and it is important to listen to your teenager when planning meals. Allow your teenager to have an input into what they eat.
- Shop with your teenager and ask them to choose a new vegetable to try, or to choose all the vegetables for one meal.
- Encourage your teen to eat vegetables by buying what they like.
- Make sure there are plenty of fresh vegetables in the house.
Cook and eat meals together:
Learning to cook is an important skill for young people. Encourage your teenager to prepare their favourite vegetables, either raw or cooked, as well as simple meals. They are more likely to try something when they have helped prepare it.
Eat together as a family:
Try to make this a priority even though it can be a challenge with busy schedules. Mealtimes can be an important part of family time when you can talk and connect to your teenager.
Keep it fresh:
Have fresh vegetables always available in the fridge; do not expect your teen to enjoy eating vegetables that are not fresh – buy vegetables twice a week and always buy from a good supplier.
- Add vegetables to pasta sauces; try grated carrots or courgettes, or chopped capsicums.
- Make plain sandwiches into salad sandwiches by adding vegetables such as sliced tomatoes, lettuce, capsicums or cucumbers.
- Reduce the amount of meat in cooked meat dishes, and replace with chopped vegetables such as pumpkin.
- Slice carrots and celery into sticks and keep them in a sealed container in the fridge for easy snacks.