Strategies to Promote Healthy Habits in Teens

Healthy habits in teens are key to their being able to handle the physical and emotional changes of this stage. Is there anything parents can do to help? Continue reading to find out.
Strategies to Promote Healthy Habits in Teens

Written by Ana Núñez

Last update: 25 May, 2022

Healthy habits in teens are vital. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines adolescence as the stage of a person between the ages of 10 and 19. As you can imagine, this stage has many physical and psychological transformations that condition the perception a person has of themselves.

In addition, the construction of their identity is at its peak, so parents must have some strategies on how to go about it instilling them in their children.

Teenagers are no longer children, but they aren’t adults either. This is why parents must be attentive in order to provide them with the necessary tools so they can mature.

Let’s take a look at some strategies.

Strategies to promote healthy habits in teens

There are three stages in adolescence: early, middle, and late. Growth is a key factor to consider in each one of these. Thus, teens must adopt healthy routines in order to properly develop.

So, what should they take into account?

Attend to the personality they’re forming

Every moment in adolescence has emotional characteristics that’ll reflect on their personality.

It’s fundamental for parents to be attentive to this because it’s a way to channel your children’s preferences towards activities they really like and thus promote their well-being.

Plan meals

Nutrition is a key factor in all stages of adolescence, no doubt. This is because a proper diet is a determining factor for both their physical and mental growth and health.

Thus, they should plan their meals in advance and, if possible, consult a nutritionist.

Find out How to Deal with Self-Harming Teenagers

Promote recreational activities

Recreation and sports are both as important a complement to health as food. Sharing fun activities with teenagers will allow the consolidation of emotional bonds.

Moreover, making them a habit will encourage their future appreciation of positive family memories.

Two women lying down.
Adolescence is a time of many changes so parental support is essential.

What healthy habits can be encouraged in teens?

It’s hard to encourage healthy habits in teenagers because they’re often unruly. However, there are some strategies that can help facilitate this process. Let’s see what they are so you can put them into practice.

1. Healthy eating

Teenage intake of junk food is a subject that’s under constant scrutiny. Unfortunately, few people are used to eating fruit and vegetables daily, even though these are vital for strengthening the human immune system.

Follow these recommendations if you have teenagers at home:

  • Find out what their favorite types of fruit are and keep them in sight at all times. That way, they’ll always be present when it’s time for a snack. The fruit is a good ally because it can quickly satisfy the need to eat something sweet.
  • Make sure they never skip breakfast. This first meal of the day is key to obtain energy and nutrients. It can do wonders for anyone’s health as long as they eat quality food. Unfortunately, teens often overlook it and replace it with junky products.
  • Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious and thus a great complement to a teenager’s diet. In addition, they’re easy to store and carry along in their pack for consumption at a later time.
  • Promote the consumption of water and healthy drinks. Make sure they always have a bottle available. At the same time, keep industrial sweetened and soft drinks out of the house. This is because they’re the cause of serious health problems — like diabetes.

2. Emotional stability is one of the most important healthy habits in teens

Body changes during adolescence can lead to all sorts of insecurities that often manifest as stress, anxiety, and mood swings.

In order to avoid these emotional states, try to include them in activities and conversations that allow them to feel good about themselves. It’s also important to allow them to enjoy their leisure time with their friends.

3. Sports and physical activity

There are many ways to be physically active so picking one that suits them won’t be difficult. This is one of the main habits to encourage in teenagers. This is because it’s a determining factor for their medium and long-term health.

Here are some simple activities they might enjoy:

  • Walking or jogging
  • Sports such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc.
  • Exercise routines at home
  • Bicycle rides
  • Going to a gym
A woman running.
Encouraging adolescents to be physically active is key to their overall health.

4. Social life

Teenagers put into practice many of the values and habits they learn at home and begin to make their own decisions when they interact with other young people. Thus, they must be allowed to interact with their friends and have a social life in general.

This is how they learn to be independent of their parents to a great extent.

5. Getting enough sleep

Proper rest is another factor you must encourage in teenagers. This is because doing it properly will help their mind process the activities related to the development of their knowledge.

Thus, try to provide them with their own comfortable space at home. One where they can sleep, take naps, and do any other activities that require silence and concentration.

Encouraging healthy habits in teens is a parent’s responsibility

You must set the example to instill healthy habits in your teens. This is why the whole family needs to be physically active, eat well, and engage in activities that contribute to everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

Finally, you must provide the necessary spaces and conditions for young people to lead a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind that support and guidance are fundamental at this stage.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Kaplan, L.J. Adolescencia: el adiós a la infancia. Paidós, 1991.
  • Lillo Espinosa, José Luis (2004) Crecimiento y comportamiento en la adolescencia. Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría.
  • Shaw, Mary E. 1998 Adolescent Breakfast Skipping: An Australian Study Adolescence, Winter 1998, 33(132): 851-861.
  • Bleich SN, Vercammen KA. The negative impact of sugar-sweetened beverages on children’s health: an update of the literature. BMC Obes. 2018;5:6. Published 2018 Feb 20. doi:10.1186/s40608-017-0178-9

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.