Teenagers are prone to pickier on their diet nowadays. They only eat what tastes good or what suitable for their favor, especially the junk food. Since they are still in growing and developing stage, good nutrients are necessary for them to get a healthy body.
Compared with other age group, teenagers need a lot of energy. Energy comes from calories and on a daily basis. Calories are the measurement used to express the energy delivered by food.
- Teenage boys need an average of 2,800 calories per day
- Teenage girls need an average of 2,200 calories per day
Below here are 5 main nutrients required by teenagers:
Function: Builds muscles and body tissues.
Sources: Meats, seafood, beans, nuts and dairy foods
Function: Make red blood cells to carry oxygen in the body.
Sources: Red meat, beans, green leafy vegetables
Function: Build strong bones and teeth
Sources: Multi-grains, dairy products, and soy products
Function: Boost up the immune system and prevent various health conditions such as night blindness, weakness, anemia and others
Sources: Fruits and vegetables
Function: make up 50% to 60% of teenagers caloric intake
Sources: Multi-grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products and lean meat
There are some tips to promote the teenagers healthy eating habits:
- Share with them about eating healthy by providing a variety of healthy eating options at home but not forcing them.
- Let them take the responsibility of planning one meal a day. Shop together with them at the local supermarket and encourage them to pick the items themselves.
- Share news articles and health videos that show the real face of unhealthy foods. Teach the teenagers to read the labels and find out how many unhealthy ingredients in their favorite snacks. Encourage them to research and come up with information themselves.
- Stock up with healthy eating choices such as fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks and more. Keep fruits in a small basket so that they can get the fruits easily.
- Lead by example. Parents food selection and eating habit always a great impact on the teenager’s behavior.