Special thanks to Brian Posten and his son Matthew for taking pictures for the article. Thanks for setting great example.
My mom could never go to the grocery store alone. I don't know why, but she always had to drag her children with her. She wouldn't wait for me to put make up on to get glamorous (so of course I would hate it if I ran into any hot boys from school). Nevertheless, there were imperative lessons I learned while shopping with mom.
You don't always get what you want. The every day person will sometimes see the screaming child near the counter wanting some candy. The parent can either give in or tell the child, NO. Everyone has cravings, but learning to fight those cravings while shopping takes discipline. It is also a skill that must be taught and influenced.
If you avoid buying the junk food for yourself, you also avoid buying it for your child. True, some teenagers will walk to Burger King on their own, but many rely on their parents' income and the convenience of what is in the home. It may be a gradual process to transition into healthy foods, yet many families have already begun to do it. Remember, there are sweet options (no pun intended) that help the cravings children and adults desire.
The second lesson I learned while shopping with mom dealt with manners and rapport. She demonstrated being polite to others and patience. Parents have a fantastic opportunity to show how appropriately they act in accordance with society. You also have the chance to visit and gain insight into your son or daughter's emotional and mental needs along with their physical need to eat.
Lesson three taught me organization. Mom had a list and would purchase what she could afford and what she really needed in the home. She had recipes in mind for the week and what could feed a family of five nutritiously yet practically. Mom would take into consideration she would be teaching art classes in the evening so some of our meals had to be prepared by ourselves. This taught us independence and we learned to cook at an early age.
Shopping for groceries shouldn't be a drag, a chore or a constant pain. It is an opportunity to be educated. Besides, mom also gave me great advice when I did see the hot boys in the store. Lessons on how to flirt . . . but that's not covered in this article.
Here are some replacement options and tips to consider while shopping with your teen. There are many choices in the food industry today and you must be educated as to what truly is healthy.
|Instead Of Buying:|
|Cakes, Pies||Applesauce, Fruit Cups, Trail Mix|
|Hot Dogs||Hard Boiled Eggs, Lean Lunch Meat, Beef Jerky|
|Soda||Crystal Light, Sport Drinks, WATER|
|Ice Cream||Frozen Yogurt, Protein Powder Shakes|
|Cookies||Protein Bars Or Homemade Oatmeal Cookies (with sweetner)|
|White Bread||Rice Cakes, Whole-Wheat Tortillas, Wheat Bread|
|Chips, Fries||Light Popcorn, Unsalted Nuts, Pretzels|
|Salad Dressings||Vinegar, Light Oil Or Lowfat Cheese|
|Frozen Dinners||Make Leftovers Using Fresh Meat & Vegetables|
- Be sure to check the sugar content in juices. If the first ingredient is "high fructose corn syrup" you are just giving them sugar instead of the nutrients gained from eating fresh fruit.
- Most people on average, especially teenagers, do not eat enough green vegetables. Dice a bunch up and put it in grab bags for the family to snatch out of the fridge on the go.
- Buy enough food for a week to avoid letting fresh food go bad or wasted.
- It is understandable that lack of time is an issue. Make food that will carry and keep.
- Don't hide vegetables and fruits in the bottom of the fridge (the crisper), but set them out for the eye to see.
- Grill or broil instead of frying.
| No - It's My Alone Time.
No - Havn't Yet But Plan To Soon!
Yes - Once In A While.
Yes - Always.