10 Tips for Building Healthy Habits as a Teen Triton
1. Healthy Diet
Proper nutrition is important for all of us, but for teens it is extra important. They are still growing
rapidly and have increased appetites, but they are at school and out with their friends more than they
are with you now so it is more difficult to ensure that they are eating the right amount of fruits,
vegetables, whole grain, protein and dairy.
All is not lost, however. There are ways you can still influence their diet. One is to always make sure
that you always have healthy snacks in the house for your teen and his or her friends and to try to
have a nutritious family meal together at least a couple of times a week. Getting your teen involved
in the food shopping and cooking will also help him or her know how to prepare their own
nutritious meals when they are on their own.
2. Good Hygiene
While as a newborn, your child was up every few hours and never let you sleep in past 6 a.m., your
teen probably sleeps in on the weekends and during the summer until noon and then lazes around
the house all day not taking a shower or even washing their face and brushing their teeth. Consistent
laziness when it comes to proper hygiene can lead to more acne breaks out on the face, and cavities
and other dental issues in the mouth. Your teen might also become more prone to infections and
diseases as well so it is important to make sure they are practicing good hygiene every day.
Although you taught them how to properly brush their teeth when they were a toddler and they
have been doing their morning and night time routines on their own for years now, don’t be afraid
to give them gentle reminder on the days they seem to be reveling in their own laziness.
3. Daily Exercise
If your teen isn’t an athlete or a dancer, chances are they are probably spending more time on their
phones and laptops then on getting enough physical activity. While they can get some steps in
hanging out with their friends at the mall, it is not going to be a vigorous enough activity to boost
their heart rate. Try setting aside time where you exercise together. Having each other for company
and encouragement will help both you and your teen stay more active.
4. 9 to 10 hours of sleep
Although teens are notorious for sleeping to noon, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily getting
enough sleep. With early start times at school, heavy study load and Netflix binging till midnight,
most teens are not getting their recommended amount of sleeps. Adults usually need about 7 to 8
hours of sleep a night, but for a teen it is more like 9 to 10 hours of sleep. If your teen seems like he
or she is dragging more than usual, you might want to help them look at their schedule to see how it
can be changed to allow them to get a better night of sleep each night.
5. Finding Their Passion
While physical health is important so is mental health. Encourage your teen to find hobbies and
interests that ignite their passions whether it is drawing, writing or taking names on the soccer field.
Doing something they love will help them handle stress better as well as to have a more positive
outlook on life.
Of course instilling all these healthy habits is easier said than done when it comes to teenagers who
are desperately trying to assert their own voice. But there are certain things that you can do to
encourage healthy habits in your teens.
6. Be a Role Model
The most important is being a good role model. Practice the healthy habits you want your kids to
follow. “Do as I say, Not as I Do,” doesn’t really work and tends to create resentment. By seeing
you make your own physical and mental health a priority will help them see the importance of it.
7. Give Cooking Lesson
The best way to encourage good eating habits in your teen is to teach him or her how to shop for
and prepare healthy meals. If they are uncomfortable in the kitchen, they are going to be more likely
to opt for takeout all the time when they are older instead of preparing nutritious meals at home.
8. Encourage Open Communication
While teenagers can be moody and stand-offish at times, they secretly still want a good relationship
with you. Encourage an open two-way street of communication between the two of you where no
topic is off limits. The more of a close, open relationship you have, the better able you will be to
offer guidance and support during these challenging years.
9. Promote Positive Relationships
Both a strong relationship with a mentor, whether a teacher or a coach, and positive friendships can
help encourage healthy habits. People in your teen’s life who really care about him or her will want
them to have healthy habits too and will help support you in this endeavor. Also loving and
supporting relationships will help your teen recognizes what a healthy relationship is.
10. Be realistic
In the end though, remember that we are all human and your teen is going to stumble and fall as
much as they will soar. It is all a part of the growing up process. Some days they will not make the
healthiest of choices, but it is okay because you will be there to help them get back on track the next