Kids and Teens Health Nutrition Tips
Teenagers are notorious for their terrible eating habits. They typically eat only what tastes good or what’s within reach. Since their bodies are still growing and developing, good nutrition during the teen years is crucial to preventing diseases like cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
When children become teenagers, their taste buds often change a little and start to point them in the direction of fatty, salty, and sugary food. This could be because they need more calories at this stage in their life, but what they need to be aware of is where these calories come from matter. This is the time they need to be eating well, good food and a lot of greens are the best intakes for a growing body like teenagers.
Keys to a nutritious diet
We probably all know them by now, but it is worth reminding ourselves:
- Aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates and choose wholegrain where possible.
- Eat or drink some dairy or dairy alternatives such as soy milk
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs and other protein. Aim for two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads
- Don’t overdo portion sizes
- Cut down on foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar
- Drink plenty of fluids (about 6-8 glasses a day)
What do teens really need to eat?
The food that is found in a home is usually the food that a teenager will consume when hungry or even bored. Keeping healthy snacks throughout the house will help them become familiar with these types of food groups. Teenagers also need good homemade dishes a few times a day, food that’s full of vitamins and minerals. Some great choices and their benefits are found below:
Avocado and Tomato Guacamole with Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Celery
Most veggies have virtually no calories but plenty of nutrients. A couple of carrots a day will not only provide your teen’s daily beta-carotene requirements, but it is actually double the amount along with lowering cholesterol. Similar to broccoli, it will reduce the risk of cancers of lung, throat, stomach, prostate, and breast cancer. Celery lowers blood pressure, and cauliflower adds cancer-fighting glucosinolates. Dip these healthy additions to some healthy avocado tomato guacamole for a snack.
Mangoes and Grapes
While your teen is busy doing homework, playing video games, or watching television, place a bowl of freshly sliced mangoes and grapes next to them. It will keep them out of the kitchen away from soda and chips until dinnertime. Mangoes will provide cancer-fighting nutrients. It is loaded with fiber and potassium and a fulfill a day’s requirement of vitamin C.
Frozen Yogurt with Cashews and Walnuts
Plain low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, along with protein for the immune system. Non-fate yogurt may not have all the benefits of regular yogurt, but it tastes great to your teenagers and is a better alternative to them than ice cream. If your teen likes nuts, try sprinkling some cashews and walnuts on the top of the yogurt. Many nuts contain high amounts of iron, zinc, and magnesium. It is good to eat fresh, plain, unsalted nuts.
Many teenagers tend to experiment with vegetarianism if this does happen there is no need to worry. The nutrient is not only found in meat or fish, but hummus is also a great source of the nutrient they will need. It is a chickpea puree and is a common vegetarian spread with lots of iron and magnesium. Try spreading some on whole-wheat pita bread, which is a great source of fiber.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Garlic Bread
Many consider carbohydrates as a bad source of food, but teenagers need them. And most will say they love the carbs, mainly in pasta-addicted college kids. Get in the habit of buying whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta, a good number of people cannot tell the difference. It has twice as much iron, more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white pasta. The tomato sauce has a good course of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and E. It is also rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease and cancer, and it is actually richer in tomato cause than in raw tomatoes.
Grilled Salmon Salad with Spinach
Studies have shown that one weekly portion of fish can help prevent heart attacks in later years. Salmon is a great fish to get hooked on, and if you can get your child to eat it early on, they will be set for the future. Salmon contains heart-healthy omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 is suited with disease-fighting capabilities; it helps reduce the risk of depression and minimizes arthritis symptoms. Instead of putting chicken in your salad, try salmon. Always remember the general rule for salad, the darker the green, the better. One cup of romaine lettuce gives the same about of beta-carotene as a whole head of iceberg lettuce.
Food Shopping with Teens
When shopping with your teenager, most of the time they will pick out something unhealthy. This is okay once in a while as long as your teen understands why it is not good for them. You are also able to result to saying, “let us try to make it at home”; homemade food is always healthier. Your teenager will be on their own soon, and it will make you feel better if they are aware of what is beneficial to them and what is not. Giving them the knowledge needed for the future will also allow you to put trust in them that they will choose the healthier choice on their own.