7 Tips to Help Your Teen Build a Healthy Relationship with Food

Kaitlyn Johnson, Teens & Adolescents

Food is a fundamental aspect of our lives. It nourishes us, sustains us, and even brings us joy.

But for teenagers, developing a healthy relationship with food can be challenging.

With the barrage of advertising, conflicting messages, and the influence of peers, it’s no wonder that many teens struggle with their eating habits. As parents, it’s important to support your teen in building a positive and balanced relationship with food.

Hi, I’m Kaitlyn Johnson, a therapist at Bloom Child Therapists and in this article, we’ll explore some practical tips for both teens and parents to develop a healthy relationship with food.

1. Encourage Open & Honest Communication


Create an environment where your teen feels comfortable discussing their thoughts and feelings about food without judgment. Let them know that you are there to listen and support them.

2. Educate Them On Nutrition


Help your teen understand the importance of balanced nutrition. Teach them about the importance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and how they contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Empower them to make informed decisions about what they eat.


3. Practice Mindful Eating


Encourage your teen to be present and aware while eating. Encourage them to slow down, savor each bite, and pay attention to hunger and fullness cues.

This can help prevent mindless eating and promote a healthier relationship with food.


4. Cook Together & Eat As A Family


Get your teen involved in meal planning and preparation. Take the time to cook and eat meals together as a family.

This not only strengthens family bonds but also provides an opportunity to model healthy eating behaviors.


5. Practice Quality Sleep Hygiene


Keeping a consistent sleep schedule of 7-9 hours per night helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. Our eating habits closely align with these circadian clocks and even influence our food choices, our metabolism and our risk for illness.


6. Encourage Physical Activity


Promote regular physical activity as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity has been shown to decrease stress, improve sleep and increase confidence, which all impact our relationship with food.

Help your teen discover physical activities they enjoy, such as playing a sport, dancing, yoga, swimming, or hiking.

By making physical activity enjoyable and tailored to their interests, you can help your teen develop a lifelong habit of staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


7. Seek Professional Support If Needed


If you notice that your teen’s relationship with food has become concerning, seek the help of a professional, such as a dietitian or therapist specializing in eating disorders.

And if you find that you need help incorporating these tips into your teen’s life, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today. By collaborating together, we can establish lifelong habits that support not only their physical well-being but also their mental well-being.