How can you keep your teen healthy?

Parents should teach their teenagers how to have healthy habits and how to make healthy choices. Keep your teen healthy by discussing lifestyle issues, such as a healthy diet, smoking and substance abuse. Make clear the dangers of risky behaviors and their impact on your teen's life now, as well as potential consequences in the future. If your teen smokes, discuss what steps can be taken to stop, and if your teen doesn't smoke, discuss how to keep from starting. Open and honest communication with your teen can lead to discussions on sexual behavior and enable you to give reliable, accurate information that will help prevent the physical and emotional dangers of irresponsible sexual behavior.

Health and fitness is the foundation for healthy children and adults. Teach your teen good eating habits, and offer healthy meals, snacks, fruits and vegetable at home. Family meals should be nutritious, and they will give your teen the proper background for their food choices when they eat elsewhere. Regular family meals and the environment that they create may keep teens from smoking, drinking alcohol and substance abuse. Plan meals together, and involve your teen in making healthy nutritious choices for the entire family. Planning and preparing together is a shared experience that can be used as a time to discuss important issues with your teen, besides their physical health, in a relaxed family atmosphere.


Teens should know how much to eat as well as what to eat; portion control is one of the ways to avoid teenage obesity. People who overeat become overweight, and teens have to learn to control how much they eat even when they eat out as well as when they're at home. Encourage your teen to participate in sports and physical indoor and outdoor activities, to promote a healthy and strong body. Above all, emphasize the value and importance of being responsible for one's health as a guideline for life.