Want To Have Healthy Teenagers?

Healthy teenagers...nutrition is a very important aspect during puberty. To have a healthy diet now affects how they feel and look today and will affect their health in years to come.

Every parent wants his child to be healthy.Teens and nutrition...hum...it can be a real challenge don't you think?

Do you think your teen can have an active lifestyle and can make healthy food choices?

healthy teenagers

I don't teach you anything if I tell you that adolescence is a period of time during which hanging around with friends is very important, time during which conflicts can happen more often. Teenage years are not always the easiest. You'll hear things such as: "leave me alone", "I'm going out for dinner", "Don't tell me what to eat"...

It is also a time of rapid growth and development where food, healthhy food consumption is essential.

You teen's growth spurt is amazing! It's going to happen around 12 for a girl and around 14 for a boy. During this period, teen go through puberty.

Nutritional needs are higher. He needs more calories and hopefully he'll get it from healthy food...you teached him to make good food choices when he was young don't you?

Facts About Teens And Nutrition

  • Many teenagers don't eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day...not only for teenagers but for everybody
  • They eat at fast food restaurant too often
  • They choose high fat snacks
  • They drink too much soft drink, sport drink and energy drink

Here Are Some Tips To Have Healthy Teenagers

  • Encourage them to eat 3 meals/day
  • If school, sports or work schedule overlapp regular meal times, make food available at any time
  • Tell them to limit their intake of saturated fat and cholesterol found in fast food
  • They should increase their consumption of essential fatty acids (omega3)
  • Prepare healthy snack in advance. Make sure your teenager has healthy snack with him all the time
  • Teach your teens how to read the nutrition facts label. They might be surprised on how much a serving size is
  • Puberty is a period of hormones changes. Acne can be a problem. Tell your children that by having a healthy diet they can have a healthy skin
  • Tell your teenage girls to drink and eat low fat milk and dairy products if fat in regular products is a concern. Low fat and regular products are equally rich in calcium
  • If your teens don't drink milk try to give them fortified soya milk
  • Encourage them to exercise

healthy teenagers

What Are The Nutrients Needed To Have Healthy Teenagers

A balanced diet is important all the time but for your teenagers, calories, proteins, calcium and iron intake is crucial.

  • Calories: Because of the rapid growth, girl needs around 2200 cal/day and boy around 2500 cal/day
  • Protein: If your teen is a vegeterian, make sure he gets enough proteins.
  • Calcium: It's needed to build strong bones. During teen years adult bone structure is developed and skeletal growth is rapid. After teen years calcium is also needed to prevent osteoporosis.

    Calcium intake should be around 1200 mg/day for teenagers. Vitamin D is needed to the proper absorption of calcium. IT is found in fortified milk, egg yolks, oily fish and fortified foods.

    Milk is a good source of calcium but it can also be found in dairy products, brocoli, sweet potato, tofu, fortified orange juice, canned salmon. Low fat and regular milk and dairy products are equally rich in calcium.

  • Iron: Very important nutrient to make red blood cells. It's the carrier of oxygen in the blood. Lack of iron can lead to weakness and fatigue. During menstruation, girls are loosing blood so they need about 15 mg/day. Boys need about 12 gm/day because of the body mass increase.

    It is found in red meat, poultry, beans, sweet potato, spinach, egg yolks, tofu, whole grains, fortified cereal, cream of wheat.

    *** if you choose an iron source from a non-meat source, have it with a food rich in vitamin C for a better absorption...and be aware that tannin (substance found in many plants such as grapes, tea leaves, oak..) found in tea reduce iron's absorption...so have a glass of orange juice with your whole grain fortified morning cereals instead of a cup of tea ***

    Teenage years is a time during which you will have less control over your child....BUT remember, like when he was a toddler, you are the boss. You're the one who goes to the grocery store and fill the fridge and the garde-manger with healthy foods!

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