I love coffee. I said it. I love love love this magical drink. The warmth, the aroma, the decadent taste of fine quality beans brewed to perfection. It’s rich, it’s smooth, it’s my only addiction.
I coach teens in health and wellness. I help them mindfully nourish their bodies, make healthier choices, and eat intuitively. And here I am, with all my knowledge in nutrition, drinking coffee.
Not to downplay the benefits of coffee. There are many. But I am prone to adrenal fatigue and well, coffee drains your adrenals. Although it is my favorite way to start the day, it doesn’t leave me many other options. It has literally become my start switch.
I started thinking.
Changing habits is really hard. How can I best help teens make these changes?
I began my health journey years ago. Although I test my will power every day, it’s been a long time since I made the crucial decision to make my health a priority. And I’m working almost exclusively with teens making that pivotal decision for the first time.
I decided to revisit this struggle and then work myself out of it. Coffee is my Achilles heel. It is harder for me to let go of than sugar, gluten, meat, anything. It is so hard, that it has become the one thing I refuse to give up. This is the challenge I seek. Both for my health and because I encourage people everyday to make healthy changes that are physically, mentally, and emotionally difficult.
Do you ever feel stuck trying to help your teen make healthier choices? Here are some healthy habit building strategies to guide you through this difficult process.
4 effective ways to help your child build healthier habits
Is there something you’ve been wanting to do to improve your own health? Now is the time to take that on. You will create an opportunity to improve yourself and stay present to the challenges your teen is experiencing. You’ll also be an inspiring role model of how to take initiative and persevere.
2. Build a weekday habit of eating home-cooked food only
During the week, help your teen build the habit of food preparation. Cook enough dinner for two meals. Before you start eating, have your teen put a portion aside in a container for school the next day. On the weekends, allow for flexibility, giving your child practice making their own food choices with no judgment on indulgence.
3. Shop and Cook together
Take your son or daughter to the farmer’s market or the grocery store. Look up recipes together and have them pick out the ingredients and become excited about their food choices. Teaching teens how to cook will play a crucial role in their food choices now and when they move out of the house. If your child wants a dessert, show them how to bake. Packaged desserts are loaded with unnecessary sugars and artificial ingredients. Play around with recipes and healthier substitutions.
4. Maintain a healthy household
Having to make choices about not eating junk all day long wears on your self- control. Immersed in healthier choices, teens will eliminate the need to make so many choices. There is some real truth to out of sight, out of mind.
Have a happy, healthy, conquer the world type of day!