4 questions parents ask about teens and snack foods…
- Should they have unlimited access?
- What should you provide?
- What about when friends come over?
- What about when you’re not around?
Being a parent of a teenager is has a range of responsibilities from simply keeping them safe from harm and teaching them to live a healthy, godly lifestyle. And not only teaching them how to do it, but also inspiring them to follow through for the long-term.
In quick-fire answer to the questions above, I’d say:
1. No, they shouldn’t have unlimited access to junk food, but they should be given more freedom to apply the principles you’re teaching them. They need to see the the cause and effect of some of their choices and also take ownership of their good eating habits. It’s much more effective when it’s a personal choice rather than a mandate. BUT, no unlimited access.
2. I think we need to provide healthy food choices in abundance peppered with some teen-friendly fun stuff now and then. Nothing should be to the extreme. If you try to control their diet to the extreme, they’ll rebel the minute they hit the college dorm. If you teach them moderation now, they’ll be better able to stave off the junk-food temptation later.
3. You definitely don’t want to be the family with no snacks! So, have a signature item. In this house it’s popcorn. My kids’ friends know that I make the best and they ask for it every time. You could do the same thing with homemade salsa, dip, applesauce cake, or any number of moderately healthy choices. You don’t have to lay our a pizza, Doritos, and brownies spread every time your kids have friends over, but you do want to be welcoming. To teens, nothing should Welcome to my Home! quite like food does.
4. Here’s where the real challenge comes in. How well have you taught your kids the reasons the body needs good nutrition? If you’ve only handed down rules without a lot of reasoning, then they might be faced with a tough temptation when they start having more free time out of the house and money to buy junk food. So, start now by giving good instruction that includes a lot of information about the why, not just the what.
I’m Nicole O’Dell, author, founder of Choose NOW Ministries, and mom of six. I believe that preparation is the number one thing when it comes to raising teens who will make good choices (about food or anything else) even when you’re not looking. I and my team at Choose NOW Publishing have just launched an incredible set of resources that hits right in the heart of your need. Powerline365 is just the companion you need to victoriously power through this next year and beyond.
Powerline365 Plugging Parents of Teens into the Source Powerline365 is a high-voltage, multi-format daily devotional to help parents raise Christian teens without losing connection.
Tap into the power you need to lead your teens into a vibrant personal relationship with Jesus. Many teens, even those from Christian homes, fail to connect with Him on a personal level. They forge on alone, searching for identity as the enemy pelts them with temptations and doubts. As parents, we’re left reeling, wondering where we went wrong. Powerline365 offers daily insight to ground you in truth as you plug into the Source.
It’s time for you to power-parent from a place of confidence and surrender, believing God’s Word is true, and His promises will never go unfulfilled.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within [your teenager], will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT) “
Now for the fun part! Crowdfunding is a super-risky (for me!), but potentially awesome (for you!) way to make products available to the public. It pools the resources of the people who are most interested in either owning or supporting the development of a new idea or work. In this case, it would be the user of Powerline365 or those who believe in the project and want to support the raising up of a godly generation of teens who would fund–or buy in–at various levels based on what they’d like to own or gift to someone else. The coolest thing about this project is the multi-format, multi-use approach we’ve taken to make it easily accessible to you in whatever way best suits your needs. And the best part is that we’re currently engaged in an indiegogo campaign to fund this project.
Which means EARLY ACCESS for you! And by early, I mean you can have this material in your hands in TWO DAYS! Would you pop over to our campaign page and see what we have going on? There’s a lot of great opportunity and interesting things you’ll only have access to through this campaign. Plus it’s the ONLY way to get ahold of these resources now, in time for 2014.
GIVEAWAY: And all who participate in the campaign and leave a comment here will be entered to win a Spark30 devotional subscription. We’ll give away one for every ten participants. This can also be gifted! My heartfelt prayer is that you’ll find victory in your relationship with your teens as you lead them to good choices and a strong faith in Jesus.
Nicole O’Dell is the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, bringing a message of hope for today’s families through daily articles, weekly radio shows, and the printed word. A mother of six herself, she has authored 23 books for parents and teens, both fiction and nonfiction, all with the goal of helping the reader make good choices NOW.