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TOPIC: Getting my teen to eat healthy

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September 14, 2009 9:23 AM
You guys and gals are always so helpful here when I am desperate for help LOL. My 14yo son started high school last month and he plays soccer on a travel team. In addition to that he would like to play on the HS soccer team. Tryouts for the team is Oct. 12/13th BUT prior to tryouts they have speed & agility training and conditioning to prepare them for the tryouts and that starts this week. Playing on two soccer teams and school work is no easy task BUT I told him as long as he can keep his grades up he can do it. Here's his schedule:

5:30am wake up (he's should be eating breakfast every morning but sometimes doesn't)
6:20am leave house to catch bus
7:15am-2:15pm school

2-3 days a week he has speed & agility training OR conditioning from 2:15pm-4:30pm after school

Then on Tuesdays & Thursdays he has practice for his travel team from 7-8:30pm. Not to mention games/scrimmages on weekends AND he sometimes referee's soccer games for the little ones.

My question is what can I buy for him to eat for breakfast & to throw in his backpack to always make sure he has healthy snacks on hand? For breakfast he won't get up in time to make eggs, bacon etc... Can smoothies be made the night before? He has cereal but doesn't want it everyday. Sometimes he has waffles, pancakes etc.. but not a fan of food requiring syrup. I can do a breakfast casserole and freeze them in portions. Do they reheat well?

For backpack snacks he is "too cool" grumble to carry a lunch bag so anything that needs to stay cool may not work. Apples? Granola bars? and I BEG him to eat healthy at lunch time, not buy junk.
September 14, 2009 9:53 AM
How about something like pumpkin bread or bran muffins for breakfast? Or carrot cake? They're ready to go, very healthy, but also filling.
September 14, 2009 10:00 AM
If you can find a way to make a teen eat what you want... please let me know your secret.

How about a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. For a quick snack when he is doing all his athletic stuff... a protein bar might be good. Clif Builders are tasty and have 20 g of protein all with healthy things in them..not chemicals.

Fruit is always good too. Banana even comes in a wrapperlaugh
September 14, 2009 10:27 AM
Chiny, I have a son who is 21 and has been a high performance athlete since he was 14. Congratulations on having such an active kid - you are just beginning your journey with a boy who is a food vortex - just open the fridge and pour!!!!

Some things I have learned - they will eat anything they can grab and go with! So if it's healthy food in the house vs a lot of junk food, they will eat it. Even the act of making a sandwich is often too much work laugh I keep a full fruitbowl on the table, lots of chocolate milk, cheese, cut up veggies, pasta salads, etc. on hand. A crock pot is great - if there was a stew or chili sitting there ready to eat right after school or practice, it was always welcome. For my guy, peanut butter was golden!!!

Protein bars vs granola bars are good for before training snacks. They don't want a lot of bulk in their tummies, but need the carbs and calories. My son is a fan of the chocolate milk in the drinking boxes, it doesn't need to be refrigerated and is great for after practice or on the way to school.

Smoothies will separate if you make them the night before, but you can put chopped fruit, yogurt and other smoothie ingredients into ready to go bowls so in the morning it's just dump/dump/whirr and you are good to go! If you bake, you can find recipes for things like ham and cheese muffins, etc. which are also good for grab and go.

You are right about the "cool" factor! The guys are ok with eating an apple, but won't be caught dead with carrot sticks. I played the law of averages for balanced meals- in general I tried to have a good balanced dinner every day. If I was able to get 3 colours into him at supper I had peace of mind. Most of them will eat their fair share of junk, but at least if it at school and NOT at home, it is somewhat limited. If he is serious about his athletics, then he will eventually make that food/performance connection - it's all about exposing him to the concepts without waking the rebellious teen within. Best of luck!
Edited by paddlemom On September 14, 2009 10:27 AM
September 14, 2009 10:31 AM
I'm in university and i'm always on the go! Sometimes i bring breakfast, lunch and dinner AND snacks in my bag. I usually make a large batch of trail mix at the beginning of the week. I use:

semi-sweet chocolate chips
orange flavored cranberries
sunflower seeds (unsalted)
mixed nuts (50% less salt than regular)

I eat a lot of fruit, specifically apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, and peaches.

I also eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, and have veggies with hummus dip in a little container.

For breakfast I have smoothies, I use frozen fruit, soymilk, and a few tablespoons of yogurt. It takes literally 3-5 minutes to throw it into my smoothie maker (i got it for $15 at GNC) I switch the lid of the cup to the sippy lid and i'm done. I have also seen recipies for oatmeal "power" bars on this site and other websites. When I was young my mom used to make me "instant breakfast" milkshakes with chocolate instant breakfast (by carnation) powder, milk and sometimes oatmeal. If i was lucky she'd throw in an oreo or thin mint cookie to make it a real milkshake!

A trick i use to keep stuff cold is to freeze my 500ml nalgene bottle the night before with about 200ml of water in it, and it keeps loose containers of food cold enough until i eat lunch. A lot of times I have chicken salad in a pita, bean burritos, hard boiled egg and veggies, etc.
September 14, 2009 11:18 AM
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I knew I'd get some GREAT replies on here!!

cynnyscott- those are great ideas, care to share easy & simple muffin recipes? If not I can check the recipe section here bigsmile

havingitall- don't really have a secret other than having healthy food already prepared to go in my house. If they (both my kids) see healthy food that actually requires preparation (i.e. cutting fruit up or making a sandwich) they'd grab a bag of chips instead due to just laziness grumble

paddlemom- thank you, he's been playing soccer since he was 3. His thing is he's REALLY TINY for his age. At 14 he's not even 5'0" and just under 100lbs. That is small compared to 98% of the kids his age around here. So in his mind because he's skinny, small & athletic he feels he can eat whatever he wants and then wonders why he's so tired and has headaches explode You had some great ideas, I am grocery shopping tonight and will incorporate those.

tiedye- again more great ideas! I like your homemade trail mix I'm going to have to try that. Sandwich baggies just end up crushing foods in his backpack, will have to put them in containers instead. I have one of those cups from GNC that breaks up the powder of my protein drinks but it's plastic and didn't think it was strong enough to break up frozen fruit hmmm will need to look into that. I know I don't want to hear a loud blender at 5:30am laugh

Ok everyone please keep them coming!!
September 14, 2009 11:51 AM
You can make breakfast wraps the night before and microwave them in the AM. Very quick to grab on his way out the door. Frozen breakfast sandwiches from the freezer are quick to microwave as well. Almost anything can be made the night before and reheated in the morning.

Trail mix is a great snack. If he's picky, you can find the varieties with little candies and what not in them along with nuts and fruit, or you can make your own with lots of things that he likes. Granola bars, fruit bars, protein bars, yogurt tubes, fruit snacks, YOP (yogurt drinks), pudding cups (the kids at my daughter's school just poke a hole in the top and suck out the pudding- I guess it's cooler than using a spoon lol), peanut butter and crackers, string cheese (or real cheese)...
September 14, 2009 11:54 AM

If you can find a way to make a teen eat what you want... please let me know your secret.

Mine eats what I want her to because she doesn't have a choice- there's nothing else in the house. tongue Of course it's another story when she's away from home, I'm sure. She loves anything healthy though- moreso than I do.
September 14, 2009 12:32 PM


If you can find a way to make a teen eat what you want... please let me know your secret.

Mine eats what I want her to because she doesn't have a choice- there's nothing else in the house. tongue Of course it's another story when she's away from home, I'm sure. She loves anything healthy though- moreso than I do.

MIne eats the healthy stuff at home but then when she is at school or with friends or even worse, at her Dad's house... she eats a lot of junk
September 14, 2009 6:50 PM
Update!! I went grocery shopping and thought about you all the whole time I was there bigsmile

I bought stuff to make my own trail mix:
chex cereal

Also bought banana's, apples, grapes, fusion smoothie drinks, fiber one yogurts (didn't even know they made a yogurt thought it was just bars), turkey, tortilla wraps and bunch of other healthy stuff!!
September 14, 2009 7:22 PM
So many great things have been mentioned here, I just have a couple to add. Regarding muffins, make a batch and freeze them. He can pull them out one at a time. They thaw quickly, so you could pull them out the night before, or the morning of. Homemade blueberry or banana muffins, made with whole wheat flour and apple sauce (in place of the lard or butter) are great!

Smooties are great any time, not just in the morning. I make them with everything. I throw any fruit I have in them...bananas (freeze if they start to get too soft to eat raw, then stick a frozen one in a smoothie), any berries (fresh or frozen), apples, pears, pineapple, etc. I usually get 2-3 servings of fruit in one smoothie. In addition to the fruit, I just add a yogurt, ice and a little milk or water. This morning I put a half cup of old fashioned oats in the blender before any other ingrediants and chopped them until they became a powder, then I added fruit and yogurt. It was thicker but still tasted good and gave me a quick, balanced breakfast that I could drink on the go.
September 14, 2009 8:01 PM
My kids love bananas and the banana muffin with applesauce sounds really good! I will have to look around for a recipe.
September 14, 2009 8:21 PM

My kids love bananas and the banana muffin with applesauce sounds really good! I will have to look around for a recipe.

Try these:
October 9, 2009 9:55 AM
Bump..I'll be looking back into this thread since I'm doing my big grocery shopping tomorrow. For him, I'm mainly looking for things he can keep in his locker at school. I don't think fruit is a good idea to keep in a locker sick

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