Nutrition for Adolescents

The main factor promoting a healthy lifestyle is healthy eating and we must teach our children about it at an early age. Following are a few guidelines to help you and your child turn away from unhealthy food cravings and adopt healthy eating habits.

  1. Eat three balanced meals per day in addition to nutritious snacks in between.
  2. Fruits and vegetables are better snacks than chips and cookies.
  3. Baking and broiling is a better option rather than frying.
  4. Reduce the intake of salt and sugar but increase fiber in your diet.
  5. Eat chicken and fish more often than red meat. If meat, trim off the fat.
  6. Decrease the use of butter, oil and gravies in your meals.
  7. Consider whole fruit as a better option than fruit juice as juice contains a lot of sugar while whole fruit gives you fiber while keeping you full for a longer duration.
  8. Drink plenty of water as it washes away the toxins while keeping you hydrated.

There is a variety of health food available, yet choosing the right amount of fat and calories along with fiber, minerals and vitamins is crucial in being habituated to healthy eating, so choose your food wisely. Here is a list of five food group categories and an image depicting the amounts to help you choose the right meal.

food_plate

  1. Grains: Foods cooked using millet, jowar, bajra, rice, corn, oats or any cereal. Grains contain fibre which helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol while protecting against constipation and other bowel disorders.
  2. Vegetables: Eat a variety of vegetables. Include green leafy vegetables and tubers in your diet as well. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals that help combat deficiencies.
  3. Fruits: Fresh fruits are always better than consuming canned options. Dried fruits and frozen fruits are good as well. Fruits are a wonderful source of vitamins.
  4. Dairy: Low-fat or fat-free milk products are a better option, yet consuming dairy products is essential for a regular intake of calcium which keeps our bones strong.
  5. Protein: Fish and chicken are good sources of protein and so are nuts, beans and seeds. Protein is essential for healthy growth and maintenance of body tissues.

Although oils are not a part of the food groups yet, some oils such as nut oil and olive oil contain essential nutrients and should be included as part of our diet. Animal fats should be avoided.

Adolescents experience a sudden growth spurt and it is necessary to provide them the right amount of nutrition to meet their individual growth needs. Since they have most of their meals away from home it is necessary to make them understand the importance of eating healthy food rather than resorting to fried and fast-food options. Girls attaining puberty must not be calorie conscious and eat everything that is supposed to be good for them without aiming to lose weight at such an early age.

Photo Courtesy – http://mypinnaclechiropractic.com/

1 Comments

  1. Suman Aggrawal says:

    I am new to this website and I am liking the articles. I am specially liking your articles. They are simple and I can understand very well. Thank You Sheetal!

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