How teenagers develop a healthier lifestyle with food.

With the teen years come a lot of changes in the body. Teenagers will grow into being much more tall then they usually are, and they will get more energy and a much more bigger appetite. Your teen will also grow physically, increasing their need for calories in food. Helping your teen develop a positive relationship with food will go a long way in guiding him to become the healthy, good adult.

Growing Healthy

Boys go through a growth spurt at the age of 14, however girls would go through at 12 because they are known to be mature earlier than boys. Whether your teen feels too fat, it’s important to take the focus off your teen’s body and instead aim your teen’s attention on eating healthy and eating well.

Eating Healthy

The best way your teen can keep a good weight is to eat a lot in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, no-fat or low-fat milk products and eggs.

Eating healthfully means getting the right balance of calories and nutrients. As your teen grows, he or she will require more calories and an increase of key nutrients including protein, calcium, and iron.

How much a teen should eat depends on their individual needs. In general your teen should eat on a diet, including:

Fruits and vegetables every day. Your teen should eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables every day.

Calcium daily. Your teen should eat three 1 cup servings of fate free calcium rich foods or low fat foods every day. Like yogurt or milk. 

Protein to build muscles and organs. Your teen should eat 5 ounces of protein rich foods every day. Good sources include eggs, poultry, or fish. 

Whole grains for energy. Teens should get 6 ounces of grains every day. 1 cup of whole grain pasta or brown rice, 1 cup of whole grain, or 1 cup of breakfast cereal.

Iron-rich foods. Boys double their lean body mass between the ages of 10 and 17, needing iron to support their growth. Girls need iron for growth too, and to replace blood they lose through menstruation. Good sources of iron include lean beef, iron-fortified cereals and breads, dried beans and peas, or spinach.

Limiting fat. Teens should limit their fat intake to 25 to 35 percent of their total calories every day and they should choose unsaturated fats over saturated fats whenever possible. Healthier, unsaturated fats include olive, canola, safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils; fatty, coldwater fish like salmon, trout, tuna, and whitefish; and nuts and seeds.

Drinking Healthy

Your teen should drink mainly water and low-fat or fat-free milk. Think of soda and artificially sweetened fruit juices as desserts or treats and reserve them for special occasions. They may be tasty but they are full of empty calories.

Moving Healthy

Like good nutrition, physical activity can build muscles, bones, and lift your teen’s spirits. It can also reduce your teen’s risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Teens should be active for 60 minutes or more on most or all days of the week. Have your teen replace TV and computer time with physical activities he or she enjoys like swimming, running, or basketball, have your teen walk or bike to school, and include work and walking their pet and also doing chores.