Keeping tweens fed through growth spurts

Other parenting duties pale in comparison to keeping growing tweens fed. What, you’re already hungry? You just ate an hour ago. How is that even possible? Tween growth spurts keep parents hopping to fuel the flame. It’s not just athletic tweens either. They all seem to have the bottomless pit syndrome. How do you keep up with tween appetites?

Keep bowls of fruit out on the counter. Make it clear they can have all the fruits and veggies they want. Place some cut fruit and veggies in the fridge in Tupperware containers too. Make these healthy foods unlimited access for your growing tweens and the rest of the family. You’ll save yourself a ton of kitchen time and promote good health for your family.

Teach tweens to cook. They should at least know how to make a quick salad. I’m not sure why more parents don’t let their tweens cook for themselves. There are plenty of easy cookbooks out there for kids who’re just learning their way around the kitchen. It a great investment in your own sanity. Plus, it frees your time for more pressing matters.

Make big batches of their favorite foods in advance. (Think spaghetti, chili, pizza and burritos.) Freeze them in portion sizes. Now tweens and teens can just go to the freezer, choose an entree and heat it up. What could be simpler? Who needs take out? Forget about those so called healthy frozen food choices. Make it yourself. Now you really know what’s in it.

Buy in bulk. At no time in your parenting career will this be more important. Pay attention to sales. Stock up on non-perishables. Stay away from processed foods. They’re more expensive than you think. Medical bills are far pricier than fruits and vegetables. Buy produce in bags, not singles. Dive into those bulk bins for things like dried beans, brown rice, nuts and whole wheat pasta. They’re long lasting. Plus, they stretch meals in a healthier way than plain old white potatoes and pasta.

Shop for nutritional content. Once again, healthy food does appear to cost more. On the other hand, if your tween isn’t getting proper nutrition, they’ll eat you out of house and home. It’s easy for tweens to eat an entire bag of chips. They have very little nutritional value and leave them wanting more. When was the last time you saw a tween eat a whole bag of apples? They don’t need to. One gives them all the nutrients they need.

More from Jaipi:

Raising vegetarian kids: Is it a healthy choice?

Changing tweens bad health habits before they start

Tween boys who cook and clean

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