Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Writing Teenagers and Food

Okay people let’s get something straight. Teens eat more than burgers and fries and pizza. They don’t drink only fizzy drinks. In fact, they eat pretty much what you do.

Coffee is a big thing now. There’s a Starbucks almost everywhere. Maybe you weren’t allowed to drink coffee as a child, but that isn’t the same as other people. Kids have favorite brands of coffee. They like flavored coffee, and regular, and have a special creamer they prefer. My kids are allowed to drink coffee or tea when they turn 10. A lot of my friends have kids who drink coffee. IT IS A THING. Give it up that they sound too old because they drink coffee. It isn’t liquor. Geez.

When my kids go to the bookstore, they get a coffee. It isn’t only adults who drink coffee. Just like you adults eat pizza and burgers. There isn’t an age limit on food, okay?

My children’s grandmother didn’t drink caffeine for years because there were rumors that it wasn’t good for you. You know how the health waves go. One year a certain thing will kill you, and the next it is good for you and you should have it every single day. You need to keep up and not date your writing with what you were taught as a child. (I didn’t know what gluten was as a teen—now everyone knows.)

The point is that you need to pay attention to the changes and trends in society as a whole. Gluten is bad now, so you’re going to have teen characters who don’t eat gluten. Coffee is cool now so you’re going to have middle grade and young adult characters who drink coffee. You’ll also have kids who don’t eat processed food, and characters who read every label for peanut allergies.

Food is a thing, guys. Pay attention to the world.