By Michelle Cardell, Aaron S. Kelly, and Lindsay A. Thompson, JAMA Pediatrics, May 26, 2020
Parents, empower your adolescents so they can make choices that promote their healthiest self.
Teens, getting older means making decisions about what matters to you most. Making healthy choices is a great place to start. Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health is what makes it possible for you to do all the things you want to do.
You are in charge of what you eat and drink. The traffic light system can be a helpful tool in guiding your food and drink choices. It divides foods by the colors of a traffic light: green (anytime foods) is for low-calorie foods that are high in nutrients and can be eaten freely (fruits and vegetables); yellow (sometimes foods) is for foods that are high in calories but also high in nutrients (nuts, cheese, and grains); red (once-in-a-while foods) is for high-calorie foods that do not provide a lot of nutrients (desserts, fried foods, and soda). Eat on a smaller plate (like a salad plate) and make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Make water your beverage of choice. If you are able, see a registered dietitian to help you achieve your nutrition goals.