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leaC

Convincing 'know it all' teenagers that they may be fit on the outside, but they're probably fat on the inside!

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Aghhh! I certainly hope someone has experienced the same problems as me with trying to get the family to eat healthily...

 

We have 2 boys - 18 & 15 (in this case I'll refer to my 18 year old as a teenager - I don't think his adult maturity has set in quite yet)!  <_<

 

Now I'm not the perfect role model for my family as far as eating goes, but I AM the most health conscious. They do know I eat my 'lame health foods' from time to time and they know I completed my first W30 on Jan 31 of this year.

 

I'm well and truly over due to get back into the W30 way of life. I did a W25 and W7 through the year, but have fallen off the wagon and am back to my old habits & original weight. I plan to do another W30 on Jan 1 and hubby will probably join me also. He is happy to eat what I eat, and could do with breaking some of his high sugar & carb snack habits.

 

My concern is how do I break years of bad snacking patterns that my boys have become entrenched in? 

 

They're pretty good with eating whatever is dished up for dinner (I get the odd complaint, but generally they'll eat a healthy meal). Their downfall department is between meal snacks - the 15 year old has the worst sugar/carb dragon I've seen and it really worries me!

 

They are both lean kids who could do with putting a bit of muscle on (we're working on that too), and therefore they think they can eat whatever they like and there won't be any visible consequences like looking overweight. I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall when I tell them that a healthy diet would improve their concentration and energy levels, not to mention their skin. I get that 'OMG, here she goes again' look from them, like I'm from another planet.

 

Granted, I do buy the junk food & sugary drinks they snack on between meals, but I do that because that's all they'll eat. I can just imagine offering the 15 year old a meatball & coconut water to tide him over till dinner! I think his sugar dragon is so strong now that I'll have a real battle on my hands if I attempt take OJ & salty snack foods away from him.

 

The 18 year old just doesn't want to be told what to eat - I know you know what I mean here!  :P

 

After watching 'That Sugar Movie', I realise the way they are eating could be causing them physical problems that they don't want to acknowledge or don't care about.

 

Help! What recommendations and ideas do people have to change entrenched habits? I know it's not going to be easy, but without their buy in, I won't have any chance!

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I know it may not be a popular answer but I just wouldn't buy non whole30 foods...you cannot control what they eat outside and if they want to go and buy the snacks themselves you can't stop them either but you can stop making it so easy for them.

That being said it won't be easy. At all. But if they see you and their dad stick to it and thrive then they will be more inclined to come round ;)

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Not a fun situation I am sure!

 

I do not have children, but I have helped a husband (age 24) get his eating habits back on track. He is the same way - very thin and could use some muscle on his frame... and he also thinks he can eat whatever and won't get the side effects.

 

I suggest - to help their and your transition easier, start buying less and less junk food and sugary drinks gradually. This way they slowly get weaned off, and won't have such a miserable few days as we all have experienced on the whole 30. 

 

I did this with my husband- and when what I had bought was gone it was GONE for the rest of the month, which helped him portion stuff out on his own.... or simply eat healthy snacks (apples and nut butter, kale chips, deviled eggs, heck even buffalo wings) after he demolished the junk. If he asked me to get more I would just let him know it wasn't in the grocery budget - he would have to wait. 

 

There are so many recipes you can use to imitate some foods to help them along....

 

Good luck!

 

Hope this helped!

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My kiddos are still young and (sort of) controllable yet, but I can imagine how frustrating it is to see your son chow down on chips and Coke while witnessing his behavior and denial. Your kids are at the point where they want to be treated and respected as adults, even if they do not exhibit the decision making and maturity of adults just yet (and let's be honest, there are a lot of bonafide "adults" that struggle with that!). So no amount of lecturing will convince them otherwise. They need to figure out their own path to health, with your guidance. You can't control their attitude, but you can control what foods are available in your fridge. Especially if your husband is on board with a Whole30, don't put anything in the kitchen that you can't eat on the program. Make sure you always have easy snacks available (cut up veggies, single servings of guacamole, meatballs or cooked chicken) for grab-and-stuff-face teenage boy eating. If they complain, tell them if they want their non-compliant favorites, they'll have to acquire it on their own. In your house, this is what's available right now. You will not win the "parent of the year" award today, but by structuring the environment and being a quiet example they may (begrudgingly) turn around. Best of luck on your Whole30!

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I've got 3 boys -- 9, 11, 14 -- and I will just say that you should stop buying the junk. I agree that if they want it badly enough, they can use their own money to get it. I have made this offer to my middle who was dreaming of Froot Loops for awhile. But guess what? He has other things he'd rather spend his money on. ...What a coincidence! So do I. :)

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Thank you everyone for your advice.

 

As MrsMarks suggested, I probably need to make it known that the junk food in the house has been excessive and I'll be winding it down - so they had better get used to it. 

 

Going cold turkey won't work with them, but a gradual lessening and more 'healthy options' readily available, might do the trick. Yes, watching hubby and I doing a W30 and feeling better in ourselves will certainly serve as inspiration and set a good example for them, but as missmunchie said, no amount of lecturing will convince them otherwise and they'll have to find their own way (with my guidance).

 

On the upside, the 15 year old said he wanted me to teach him how to cook in the upcoming school holidays so there may be a window of opportunity there to have a few lessons on what is considered 'real food'! 

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I'm really interested in this too as my boys eat way too much junk either at their fathers house or they buy it themselves. It drives me nuts the amount of fizzy rinks and sugar they consume. I try to tell them they are storing up problems for later but later is too far in the future for them to comprehend. 

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But guess what? He has other things he'd rather spend his money on. ...What a coincidence! So do I. :)

I love this. I don't have kids but I feel like this is sort of where I would be as a parent.  :)

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I agree, the simple solution is not to keep those snacks in the house.

They'll still have them, whether it's at school or a friend's house, or bought with their own money.

 

FWIW, my husband didn't do w30 with me, and the only snack we kept in the house during it for him specifically was un-popped popcorn for his air-popper. I figure if air popped popcorn is the worst he snacks on, then it's not that bad.

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Sure, you can stop buying the snacks if you want, it's your money. But I would also stop telling them how they should eat. They're teenagers, the best way to get them to not want to ever do something is to tell them to do it.

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