16 Essential Health Lessons for Tweens and Teens

How to raise a kid who's independently healthy (16 Photos)

Susan Carlton on Jul 29, 2011 at 3:21PM

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16 Essential Health Lessons for Tweens and Teens

Jamie Grill/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty

Next Up: The Back to School Health Checklist: Grade Schoolers, Tweens and Teens
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Pop the Soda Bubble

Research by the Centers for Disease Control found that two-thirds of teens consumed some combo of soda, sports drinks and other sweet sips daily. What’s wrong with that? These beverages are sugar packed -- a can of soda alone has 10 teaspoons of the stuff. Of course, water is a guilt-free substitute, so the next time you see your kid with a Big Gulp you can suggest she try to cultivate an H2O habit -- which is unlikely to go over very well. Instead, offer her a glass of low-fat chocolate milk. “It has a lot less added sugar than junky drinks, it tends to quench thirst well, and nine out of 10 teenage girls aren’t getting enough calcium anyway,” says Keith-Thomas Ayoob, Ed.D, R.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein Medical College in New York. And research shows that chocolate milk is a terrific after-sports hydration drink.

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