weight loss

How do I educate this child about nutrition?

Have you read any articles that are well researched and accessible to a 13yo that talk about why your body needs fiber and protein and how binging on sugar impacts your brain and body? I'm also interested in articles that explain satiation and hunger. I'm trying to break out of the "good" and "bad" food dichotomy, but I want him to have access to more information about why we want to help him choose healthier foods.

I found some good articles about screen time and dopamine and depression and sleep and asked him to read them before we talked more about why his Tiktok/Instagram/YouTube/Minecraft time is capped at two hours. The articles actually made sense to him. I'm sure it won't be the last we have to talk about it, but at least it shifted the conversation and laid some groundwork for why we're going to stick to some limits on how much time he spends playing video games and watching TV.

We also found some good readings on sleep and sleep deprivation among teenagers. Our general rule is that bedtime isn't a privilege that you can earn or lose. It's a simple matter of getting the sleep your body needs, and that's different for everybody. Being able to share some data that says this isn't just us being weird, it's us being reasonable, is helpful.

I'm trying to find the same thing for nutrition. But so much writing about nutrition is focused on weight loss. He doesn't need to "break free from diet culture". He doesn't want or need to gain or lose weight. He needs to get through the school day and then come home and go to ceramics class.

He'll say he only wants a tangerine before swim class and then have to sit out the class because he's lightheaded.

He often doesn't eat lunch, or he eats a bag of chips for lunch, and then he crashes in his afternoon classes or he gets home and he's totally disregulated and upset and then if I convince him to have a glass of water and a banana he feels much better. (I almost rolled in a whole second question about lunch ideas, but I think that feels more solvable. We had a solution but it stopped working and we need to reassess.)

After a long run of just refusing to take ADHD medication, which I didn't fight him on, he's interested in trying it again. But I want some tools for talking to him about how the food choices he makes during the school day are part of managing his ADHD.

There's a lot of advice (good and bad, tbh) on a recent post on disordered eating and raising kids, but I'm really looking for articles or well informed talks that I can direct him to as a starting point for his own understanding.

posted by amandabee to Health Fitness (3 answers total)