Tweens, or any young adult aged 9-13, live in a very special phase of life. Their hormones are raging, their bodies are expanding and their mentalities and psyches are open to rapid growth and manipulation. Unfortunately, this makes it tough to be a good parent. You obviously want the best for your child, but they're probably fighting you at every turn. Don't worry – this is a good thing! Your child is learning self-sufficiency and developing their personality. We know it can be frustrating, but your brooding, moody tweenager is almost an adult – and you've got to impart the practices of a healthy lifestyle that will not only help get them through this stage, but help them thrive for years to come.
Want a little help getting to know your kiddo at this age? We've got some facts and tips that will help get you and your not-so-little one through this growing phase.
- More than 23 percent of calories eaten by US kids come from snacks, the majority being snacks high in sugar, highly processed carbs and unhealthy fats.
- Between 10 to 30 percent of kids skip breakfast. Common excuses include lack of time, disinterest from the tween, or lack of planning by the parent.
- Family meals foster healthy eating, weight management, a parent/child connection, and social skills. Aim for three to five family meals each week to reap the benefits. Can’t make it to the table? Make a smoothie together!
- The importance of sleep is often underestimated. When it comes to weight management, inadequate and poor quality sleep affects hormones and increases risk of becoming overweight.
- Nearly 60 percent of parents have provided a cell phone for their tween ages 8-12 and the number continues to rise due to our tech-dependent lifestyles. Check out the NutriLiving Recipes App for the iPhone and Android to find some delicious smoothie recipes.
- Today’s tween generation has buying power upward of $1.2 trillion per year, making them a prime target for marketers. Beware of the big food giants, including fast food and processed food companies, hoping to gain lifetime customers.
Recipe: Creamy Green Strawberry Dream Serving in this recipe:1
- Calories: 236.6
- Total Fat: 3.6 g 5.5%
- Saturated Fat: 0.4 g 1.9%
- Cholesterol: 0 mg 0%
- Sodium: 358.7 mg 14.9%
- Total Carbs: 45.7 g 15.2%
- Dietary Fiber: 9.9 g 39.4%
- Sugar: 22.1 g
- Protein: 8.1 g 16.2%
- Vitamin A: 481.9% Vitamin C: 244.1%
- Calcium: 68.5% Iron: 26.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.