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Move It with Your Teen continued...

Helping your child with weight control now can mean better health in adulthood.

"There is a very good chance that an overweight teen will become an overweight adult," Geller says.

If your teen tends to be sedentary, choose an activity to do together, such as walking, biking, in-line skating, or tennis. Working out with kids keeps them healthy in more ways than you can imagine. Recent research in the journal Pediatrics revealed that teens who participated in physical activities with parental involvement were less likely to have low self-esteem and engage in violence.

Snack On

Hungry teens have a hard time holding off for the next meal. Done right, snacking can provide the nutrients your son or daughter needs. These healthy snacks also double as quick breakfasts:

  • Whole grain bagel spread with peanut butter and topped with raisins; milk
  • Leftover pizza; 100% orange juice
  • 8 ounces low-fat fruited yogurt; whole grain toast; 100% juice
  • Fruit and yogurt smoothie; whole grain toast
  • Hard-boiled eggs; whole grain roll; fruit
  • Waffle sandwich (two whole grain toasted waffles spread with almond, peanut, or soy nut butters); milk
  • Trail mix made from low-sugar cereal, dried fruit, chopped nuts or roasted soybeans, and mini chocolate chips
  • Sandwiches on whole grain bread
  • Hummus or peanut butter and whole grain crackers
  • Bowl of whole grain cereal; fruit; low-fat milk
  • Vegetables and low-fat yogurt dip
  • Reduced-fat mozzarella cheese sticks and low-fat crackers
  • Low-fat microwave popcorn topped with grated Parmesan cheese; 100% juice
  • Yogurt with whole grain cereal mixed in
  • Low-fat cottage cheese and whole grain crackers or whole grain toast
  • Nuts; 100% juice.

Pick Your Battles

The house is stocked with healthy foods. You're home most nights for dinner. You talk with your teen about skipping soda in favor of low-fat milk, and choosing grilled chicken sandwiches instead of fried at the fast-food restaurant. You even bought inline skates so you can bond with your teen while working out. Still, his eating and exercising is less than exemplary. What should you do?

Back off, for starters.

"Avoid power struggles over food," says Sonneville. Strict control over what a child eats can backfire. "Your teen may respond by over- or under-eating just to assert his independence," she says.

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