Food for Teenagers
Teens can be quite a tricky age, parents struggle to get their way around their teenage kids, but teenagers have a mind of their own. This being said, teens are the time when the body requires the maximum amount of energy for development, and this can be derived only through proper nutrition. Unfortunately, it is at this age, that children are inclined to consuming junk food and their busy schedule and erratic ways make it difficult to get them to follow a nutritious balanced diet.
Inadequate nutrition and insufficient exercise undermine bone growth, which means that kids are jeopardizing their health as 90% of the bone density is built up by the end of teens. Moreover, nutritional deficiencies could also be responsible for increased anxiety and depression in some teens.
The experts at India Gate stress on the importance of healthy nutrition especially for teenagers and have suggested food that ought to be a part of their daily diet.
- Fresh Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and veggies give the body energy, vitamins, antioxidants, and water. They help build immunity and protect the body from diseases in later life. Encourage your teenage child to choose fruits and vegetables at every meal. Avoid peeling off the skin as they contain nutrients too. Satisfy a teenage sweet tooth by stocking up on fresh fruits that contain vitamins and fiber and save that candy bar for a special, and rare, treat.
- Whole grains: Studies show that the more whole grains teenagers eat the leaner they are and are less likely to develop diabetes. With the rising obesity and diabetes rate in children, this should be taken into utmost consideration. It is very important to incorporate quinoa, sprouted brown rice, and other such whole grains to a teenager’s diet. They provide protein, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins and are also good sources of iron and zinc. Adopt simple ways to incorporate whole grains in everyday meal plans like prepare energy bites using quinoa for snack time, choose sprouted brown rice for all rice preparations, etc. Regular consumption of quinoa is recommended for vegetarians and vegans as it is the best source of plant-based protein.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. They help regulate body weight as their fats are not fully absorbed, regulate food intake, and help burn excess energy. A variety of nuts and seeds can be included in your child’s diet. Make sure you give your child a pouch of seeds and nuts to carry along with them wherever they go, it makes for a great snack and keeps the stomach full for longer.
- Dairy foods or dairy-free alternatives: Teens are a time when kids require sufficient calcium to help them achieve maximum bone mass and build bones for life. Therefore ensure your child has different kinds of dairy each day. Food such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium as well as protein. Children who don’t eat dairy should opt for dairy-free alternatives that are rich in calcium such as tofu, nuts, seeds, cereal, and soy milk.
- Smoothies: Monitoring and controlling what your teenager eats throughout the day is close to impossible. While they don’t really understand the importance of consuming a balanced diet yet it’s at this stage that they benefit most from healthy dietary habits. Therefore, giving them a smoothie every day, mixing together fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts, will make up for the nutrients they require. Not only is this healthy but is something they will look forward to.