How to Help Your Teen Stay Healthy Through Puberty

December 24, 2015


When your children begin to go through puberty, it can be a difficult time for them. There’s unhealthy peer pressure, recess and childish games are replaced with more sedentary activities, and you have less control over their lives from what they eat to how much physical activity they get. But that doesn’t mean that your kids have to lead an unhealthy lifestyle.

Get Them Moving

It’s important that teens stay physically active, as physical activity has been linked to:

  • Positive body image
  • Reduced stress
  • Better grades at school

Encourage your teen to take part in physical activities like organized sports, but don’t force them if they’re not interested. It’ll only cause them to see sports as a negative experience to avoid in the future. If your teen does show an interest, support them by taking them to practice and talking to them about it. If they don’t like sports, there are other options available like:

  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

Make Sure They Don’t Over-Exercise

You may also have a teen that exercises too much. Over-exercising can lead to, among other things:

  • Distorted body image
  • Eating disorders
  • Damage to joints and bones

Even as a teen, your child will see you as an example of how an adult should act. If you yourself are fixated on exercising and perceived body flaws, so too will your teen. Lead by example by accepting your own body and talking to your teen about what it means to be fit and healthy.

Keep Healthy Options Stocked

Your teen will have greater control over what they eat and will eat more than they used to because of their rapidly changing bodies. Teens need to eat more calories per day than children or adults—especially if they play a sport. But this fact isn’t an excuse to let them eat unhealthy foods whenever they want. Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy food options like fruits and vegetables that they can easily snack on, and encourage healthy eating by eating healthy yourself.

Up Next: Raise a Healthier Kid with These 5 Steps