Helping Adolescents and Teens Build Healthy Habits
For teens, it can feel like everything is changing. Their bodies, their minds, and even their social circles change fast in middle and high school.
One of the best ways parents and caregivers can support teens is to help build a solid base of healthy habits. The resources below help you do just that.
A balanced diet is the foundation of good teen health. That means three wholesome meals a day, and nutritious snacks in between. To get there, fill your kitchen with washed fruits and vegetables, cheese sticks, or single-serving packs of yogurt and nuts. Having healthy options within easy reach guides teens toward a healthier life.
Check out the list below for more teen nutrition resources:
Healthy Eating (from nutrition.gov)
Healthy Attitudes Toward Food and Exercise
Most teens don’t drink enough water. Without enough water, their brains and their bodies aren’t working as well as they could. They might also have low energy, or trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Just like nutrition (above), drinking enough water is key to overall health.
Learn more about adequate hydration and making healthy beverage choices.
There are lots of benefits to physical activity. For teens (as well as adults), physical activity brings stress relief, disease prevention, energy boosts and better sleep. It can also be serious fun for teens who find an activity they like.
The resources below with help you find ways to get your teen involved in sports or exercise.
Tools for Getting and Staying Active
How Much Physical Activity do Children Need?
Physical Activity for Children and Teens
Fitness: Getting and Staying Active
Teens need more sleep (about nine hours per night) than adults. Getting those hours helps with performance in school and sports, and makes a big impact on physical and emotional health.
If your teen isn’t sleeping enough, the resources below can help you encourage them get the shuteye they need.
Teenagers and Sleep: How Much is Enough?
Sleep: Helping Your Children–and Yourself–Sleep Well
Stress is a fact of life for teens. And while they may seem overly emotional at times, teens can learn to manage stress in healthy ways. Here are some resources to help you help them.
If your child is struggling, you may want to speak with a behavioral health professional. You may also want to speak with your child’s primary care physician (though you don’t need a referral from him or her to see a behavioral health professional). For helping finding a qualified, in-network behavioral health professional, use MVP’s Find a Doctor tool.
How to Help Children and Teens Manage Their Stress
Stress Management: Helping Your Child With Stress
Other Teen Wellness Resources
Below are additional resources on various topics that may impact your teen, from annual check-ups, to development, to safe driving.
Depression in Children and Teens
Helping Your Teen Become a Safe Driver
The Importance of Annual Well-Child Visits
Intervention Strategies for Concerned Parents