Whether you have a teenage girl or a teenage boy, there’s a lot going on physically in that body and brain. As a parent, you can create some simple physical conditions to help support your teen’s maturation process.

These conditions are commonsense items you already know about but may not have implemented for your teenager (or yourself, for that matter). Although these lifestyle changes are not complicated, they aren’t necessarily easy, either. Implementing these five items into your teenager’s life could make all the difference.

  1. Eat healthy. While most teens eat meals away from the house, they are probably getting the majority of their food at home, at least several days a week. This is where you can start. Make sure there are healthy alternatives available for them. What you have in the fridge and the cabinet is what they have available. Teens are notoriously convenience driven.

Make your selections palatable. There is a greater variety of healthy and good tasting food, more than ever before. Put some thought into your selections; if you won’t eat them, neither will your kids.

Start whittling away at the junk. There’s nothing wrong with a package of cookies in your cabinet. But, if all you have is four different kinds of cookies, three packages of chips, two types of crackers, along with premade frosting and prepackaged mixes, there might be an issue. The cabinet should not be the first place your kids go for food. Ideally it should be the refrigerator, where fresh fruits and vegetables are kept.

Be proactive about your teen’s eating choices. He may appreciate that there is a bag of carrots cleaned and ready to go in the fridge. She may still hunt out the cookies when she gets home from school, but they could be your homemade, whole-wheat raisin cookies instead of a package of chocolate marshmallow wafers. Convenience is important to a busy, distracted teen. However, convenience doesn’t need to mean prepackaged.