(WKBN) – The Buhl Regional Health Foundation is a private health foundation focused on the health and well-being of youth in Mercer County. 

Clinical RDN Delaney Javens is also a cycling instructor at Cycle Life Studios. She said proper nutrition in adolescents can lead to a much healthier future in more ways than one.

“Proper nutrition is important to maintain a healthy body weight,” said Javens. “But it is also essential for disease prevention like Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, tooth decay and even cognitive abilities.”

Javens said developing healthy eating habits during youth is vital to overall health, but what if you have a picky eater? She said just keep trying to introduce new foods to kids as research shows it can take up to 15 times of offering food before they’ll even accept trying it.

For those who need more affordable healthy food options, Javens said all of the Giant Eagle stores in Pennsylvania and Ohio work with an app called “FlashFood” that posts food options near their best-buy dates for lower costs at a discounted rate of up to 50%.

And don’t forget the physical activity.

“The general recommendation is that adolescents and children get about one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily,” said Javens. “My recommendation would be to decrease sedentary behaviors like screen time and facilitate more joyful movement for kids.”

The movement can come through an organized sport or even something as simple as walking the dog or bike riding with friends.

“Healthy kids become healthy adults,” said Javens. “Through fostering good food choices paired with physical activity, they’ll take those habits with them into adulthood ultimately resulting in better health outcomes long-term.”

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