Top Ten Tips For Feeding Teenagers

Teens are fussy, conscious about their weight and more subject to impulse eating than probably any other age group alive (except for maybe toddlers who have been know to eat a single food for months on end and never eat anything else.)

Do not tempt fate by bringing junk food for yourself or other family members into the home if you are trying to keep a teenager healthy

Be aware that your child might be short some essential nutrients and need supplementation with vitamin A, folic acid, fiber, iron, calcium, and zinc

Most teenagers are quite concerned with how their appearance and can be convinced that they will be slimmer and more beautiful if they eat a healthy diet and exercise

Make low-fat versions of junk food menu favorites; there are many recipes to be found online that can help you make healthy versions of junk food favorites like French Fries, Cheeseburgers, Tacos and Fried Chicken

Make food more interesting by cooking ethnic versions; this keeps your teen interested in meal times

Curb cravings for junk foods by making sure that your teen is getting adequate supplementation with vitamins he or she may need

As was true with the pre-teen keep your eye out for the warning signs of symptoms of a teen who may be suffering from anorexia or bulimia and get them treated in an eating disorders program

Never use food as a reward for good behavior or have your teen associate it with love and affection; this can lead to eating disorders

If your child is an emotional eater gets him or her to recognize HALT – never get Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired as that is when he or she is most vulnerable to binging on junk foods

Be aware that a child that is not eating at all may be doing recreational drugs or smoking; nip these habits in the bud by addressing the matter directly as soon as you can as they are so damaging to every aspect of your teenagers growth
When your child hits age 13 you can expect a real growth spurt. The nutritional needs of your child are greatly increased because of the changes in body composition and increased growth rate that is associated with sexual development and the path towards puberty.
Some teens do not change but most experience a dramatic need for all kinds of foods. Many teens are also incredibly active and expend a lot of fuel. Many spend more time at work, have a job, socialize more, exercise more and have more erratic behaviors in general that affect how they eat

Dealing with a Kid with ADD

ADD which stands for Attention Deficit Disorder is a distressing psychological condition which results in all kinds of behavioral symptoms including a lack of concentration, bed-wetting, aggression and compulsive behavior.  It affects both adults and children.

ADD is almost always described as a three-pronged illness that contains three components – irritability, compulsivity and distractibility.  Another form of the disease is ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder), which adds hyperactivity to the mix. Minimizing the provocation of these four mental states can greatly help to minimize the extent to which a person's daily life can be affected by this disease. 

Here are some tips to helping you or a loved one deal with the uncomfortable behavioral and emotional symptoms of this disease. 

First of all Practice HALT.  HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Tired or Lonely. Avoiding any one of these emotional states can help prevent the compulsions, irritability and wandering thoughts that are symptoms of ADD. Low blood sugar is definitely something to avoid so make sure you child eats her meals on time, gets plenty of sleep, has company and is never provoked unnecessarily. 

Make sure that your kid takes all medications as prescribed and exactly on time!  Many of the medications used to treat ADD and ADHD have a short half-life. If they are not taken exactly as prescribed, the sufferer can suffer from a rapid shift in mood that results in aggression or an emotional 'crash.' 

Understand too that a misbehaving kid might also be suffering from the side effects of prescription drugs used to treat the ailment. Make sure that your child can avoid fluorescent lights.

Studies have also shown that ADD sufferers find it more difficult to concentrate if they are sitting under fluorescent lights. Low incandescent lighting of a yellowish quality helps them to focus. Realize that your child may need more exercise than most people. As most ADD sufferers are hyperactive they need an outlet to burn off excess nervous energy.

Make sure that your ADD child takes in at least an hour of aerobic activity such as walking, running or playing an athletic game a day. Take your child to Yoga class with you!  Meditation and deep breathing can help control the speeding mind and distractibility and irritability that are associated with Attention Deficit Disorder. Avoid stimulating entertainment. Movies or video games that are too stimulating can provoke violent episodes and mood swings in both adults and children with ADD. 

It is also a good idea to deliberately steer your child away from any kind of high pressure or competitive situation especially if your child is having problems getting his or her excitability under control. Stick to a daily routine.

Many symptoms disappear if an ADD sufferer learns how to stick to a daily routine that is consistent over a number of months. This includes eating and exercises at the same times every day and not working overtime.  Consistency goes a long way to controlling a child's ADD symptoms.