March is National Nutrition Month – a great time to check in with yourself and your family about the importance of healthy eating habits.
My teenage daughter, who is a competitive softball player and exercise fanatic, is in great shape; so when she came to me complaining about her “love handles,” I laughed at first. As she collapsed on the couch, she told me she always feels tired and has been having headaches during class. She has also been having a hard time focusing on school – which we have previously chalked up to a bad case of “senioritis.”
Because she recently had her annual physical, I knew nothing serious was going on; however, it occurred to me that because she was so busy with school, work, and athletics, she was rarely home for dinner. She typically opted to grab a bite when she was running from one place to another.
I asked her what she has been eating lately and she said she was just grabbing a snack here and there, never eating a full meal, and that usually her snacks consisted of crackers or yogurt but rarely fruits or vegetables or a good source of protein.
This was my “aha” moment. Like many of us, she wasn’t taking the time to think about what she was fueling her body with. Now she was feeling some results of a poor diet – fatigue, skin problems, headaches and trouble focusing.
We needed to find a solution that worked for her lifestyle. Being a teenager, the thing she always has with her – no matter what – is her phone. In no time, she found an app where she can track her food to make sure is getting enough protein, fruits and vegetables in her diet.
And as an added bonus of “community” – like we talked about in the last Tuesday Tech article, she began taking selfies while eating, keeping a visual diary, posting on social media and getting support from her friends.
Of course, as a caring parent I felt horribly guilty that I had lost track of my daughter’s eating habits which ultimately affected her health. It makes me feel better knowing that she was taught about good nutrition in school, in athletics and while growing up in my home. She’ll soon be heading to college but armed with that knowledge – and with a little help from her phone, I think she’ll make good choices.