Keep Your Teenage Boy Eating Healthy at Home
As most parents already know, a teenager's preferred diet isn't always the healthiest. High school boys may need some extra guidance in strategizing what foods they put into their bodies—especially when they're stuck in the house! We gathered some strategies from our in-school health and wellness education programs, such as the Prep4ward program, which has a powerful impact on the mindset of students. An informed teenage boy—equipped with the knowledge that what he eats is transformative—can move powerfully to impact his academic, athletic, and emotional wellbeing.
What Should a Teenage Boy Eat?
In a world of immense food options, it’s important to provide teenage boys with clear guidelines for nutrition. For instance, a 14-year old boy may not actually know that his mountain-of-pasta four-cookie lunch will assuredly render him near-comatose in class later that afternoon. Instead, trained Nutrition Coach Denise Olson recommends the following plate-filling strategy:
“We believe in eating real, whole foods and keeping processed foods and sugar to a minimum to feel your best. We focus on healthy habits and behavior change because that is what yields long term results.”
- Denise Olson, Nutrition Coach
A properly balanced plate will boost his mental health and physical capacities; consequently, he is empowered to make better overall food and nutrition choices.
See Denise’s recommendations for healthy eating during adolescence (just like teenage boys do normally in our historically-renowned eating space known as the Riddle Refectory!)
Encourage A Wide Variety of Color
It may be difficult to whip up colorful meals every day at home, such as these expertly-crafted meals from Flik Dining Service at Avon Old Farms. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are creatively and thoughtfully prepared by trained chefs. Flik says, “mealtime at school is not only an important part of the experience, but it’s also the basis for whole-child wellbeing.”
Here's some at-home inspiration in the form of actual Flik meals served recently at Avon Old Farms:
“I'm a vegetarian, but I still have many options for what I can eat—anything from salad to the meals that they cook ...which are excellent.” Akil Smart '20
Nutrition for Body, Mind, and Spirit
Body: Keep Him Active at Home
Athletic prowess and Avon Old Farms, the CT private school for boys, are practically synonyms. With our marked tradition of winning and the sheer quantity of Winged Beaver alumni playing professionally, we understand the importance of fueling our students’ bodies with healthy food. Tanked up on vital proteins, vitamins, and minerals, our athletes are given the tools to compete with an edge—to take their abilities to the next level. They notice the difference selecting the right foods makes—how their bodies respond quicker to gains in the weight room or speed on the rink/field. They notice; the fans notice; college recruiters notice.
Mind: Preparing the Brain for Learning
A mind that is cleared of the detrimental effects of processed food and excess sugar is primed to be receptive in the classroom. Healthy eating and stable blood sugar levels will assist a teenage boy to prepare his brain so he can better retain information learned in the boy-centered classroom. The added value of boy-focused education, such as the Avon Old Farms’ REAL (Relational, Experiential, Active, and Lifelong) Learning ethos, can take hold in a nutrient-rich body flowing unblocked to the mind.
Practicing mindfulness after a healthy meal also prepares teenage boys for whatever academic rigor is about to come their way. Just like at Avon Old Farms, encourage your son to have a structured and guided space right after lunch to bring his mind to a steady baseline. An uncluttered and nourished mind is fertile grounds for the seeds of classroom success.
Spirit: Forging the Online Brotherhood
Spikes in blood sugar levels can lead to erratic behavior, especially in the already-fluctuating bodies of developing teenage boys. Food has a tremendous impact on the emotional health of a high school boy; therefore it's crucial that boys eat the right foods in the right proportions. The recommended guidelines from our nutritionist—¼ protein, ¼ starch, and ½ vegetables—will promote a more stable foundation within the body. With less sugar-induced highs and lows, a boy has smoother ground to navigate his burgeoning emotions.
The eating experience at Avon Old Farms is more than just consuming delectable and wholesome food: boys are granted the structured opportunity to connect with one another in a warm and unique dining hall. Even when they're not able to connect over the physical table, we created a community page for our students to connect with each other and their way of life on our Morning Meeting page.
“We get to have great food every day and share great experiences together in our brotherhood, our community, and with our teachers. We have a really special opportunity here where we get to share special moments together.” - Michael Hernandez '20
It’s truly inspiring to witness a teenage boy expand to discover his abilities during his high school tenure, and even more so to do it on his own at home. With the proper tools, a crucial one being the knowledge of how the body, mind, and spirit respond to various foods, he can build a promising future. Athletes, scholars, and the Brotherhood as a whole benefit from a boarding school that provides healthy-eating training, palatable and satisfying food, and a welcoming space to eat while building relationships. We wish you the best as you take away these tips for keeping your teenage boy eating healthy during this stay-at-home time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications