A best part of the teenage years is growing autonomy and most importantly independence from family and parents, and teens are tends to eating outside the home than ever before. But at the same time teens have especially important nutritional requirements.
Teens often eat outside home with friends rather than family. They have increasing control over food selection, often experimenting with new trends or various types and taste of foods.
The major concern of most of the teenagers is with athletic prowess and body layout than they are with long-term health. They are more likely to take limited calories and fat to lose weight than to keep their cardiovascular system in check. Teen athletes are also inclined to using ergogenic supplements that are often not accepted and may have serious side effects.
Nutrients of primary focus during teen years are calcium, iron, and total calorie intake. Teen food intake studies show their diets are often lacking in sufficient quantity of iron and calcium to support growth and health. If teens avoid calories to control body weight, growth may actually be adversely affected.
Most of the base work for your teen's diet has been laid in the food and snacks you provided earlier in their life. However, there are some steps you can take to continue to influence your teen's diet and avoid teenage nutrition problems:
Your child's nutrition is prominent to his/her overall health. Proper nutrition can also prevent many medical problems e.g. becoming overweight, developing weak bones, and developing diabetes etc.
The best nutrition advice to keep your teen healthy is to encourage them to:
You can also enable promote good nutrition by setting a good example. Healthy eating habits and daily exercise should be part and parcel of your family's life. Make it a rule in the house to follows these guidelines. You should also buy low-calorie and low fat foods, snacks and desserts, skim milk and diet drinks. Avoid buying high calorie snacks or desserts.
Thirty percent of your diet should be made of fats. For a 2200 calorie diet it should contain 73g of fat every day and for a diet with 2800 calorie, 93g of fat intake is necessary each day. The selection of fat that you eat also plays an important role. Saturated fats in foods in meats, palm and palm kernal oil, coconut, raise more cholesterol than unsaturated fats like canola oils, olive, and peanut or polyunsaturated fats in cottonseed oils, sunflower, safflower, and soybean. The intake of saturated fats must not be more than 10% of daily calories.
Sugars provide a huge amount of calories, with very little nutritional value. They include brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup, honey and foods like soft drinks, jams, and jellies and candy.
Dairy products are rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins and are a great source of calcium. Your adolescent must take 2 to 3 servings of yogurt, milk and cheese each day.
Foods in this category supply protein, minerals and vitamins including B vitamins, zinc and iron. Your teen should have 2 to 3 servings of food from this group every day, incorporating the equivalent of 5 to 7 ounces of lean meat.
Vegetables are replete with vitamin A and C, and folate, minerals, e.g. iron and magnesium, and fiber also. Plus they are also low in fat. Your teen should have 2 to 4 servings of vegetables every day.
Fruits and 100% fruit juices are replete of potassium, Vitamin A and C. They are also low in sodium and fat.
Foods of this group are great supply of carbohydrates and vitamins, fiber and minerals. Your teen should include 6 to 11 servings of foods from this food group everyday.
Calcium is a mineral that is very important for your child’s bones. Having a diet with foods high in calcium to meet daily needs is imperative for the development of strong bones.
You must check the nutrition label to choose foods high in calcium when you make your families diet. Also choose foods that are rich in calcium.
Iron is another mineral that is very vital for your child's growth. Having a diet with foods that are rich in iron to meet daily supplement is important for the development of strong muscles and blood.
Check the nutrition label to select foods rich in iron when you prepare your families diet. Also choose foods that are replete of iron (bread, rice and pasta).
By applied these small tips you can add lot of flavor and multiple nutrients to your teen’s health and healthy teenage nutrition will keep them fit and fine for the rest of their life.