%u200BHaving an adolescent at home can amaze us in quite a many ways. They not only undergo startling physical alterations and growth during their teenage years but also their food preference and behaviour change drastically. Many of us feel like walking on the knife’s edge during this critical and sensitive phase of our children. Good nutrition is critical during teenage years to support healthy growth and development. A healthy diet needs to meet the changing nutritional needs of a growing teen and importantly, helps prepare them for a lifetime of healthy eating behaviors.
Teens have unique needs:These years are a critical period of growth and development, so good nutrition is essential. During adolescence, the need for most nutrients including energy,%u202Fprotein, vitamins and minerals increases. Appetite often increases, so it’s key to have plenty of healthy foods on offer. As teens gain more independence, it can also be tempting to eat more energy dense snack foods and%u202Ffast foods%u202Fthat are high in%u202Ffat,%u202Fsugar and salt and low in other more important nutrients.
Body image- a key concern for teens: During adolescence, teenagers grow and develop at different rates and it is sometimes difficult to accept these changes.
Some teenagers develop unrealistic expectations about how their body should look.Being%u202Foverweight%u202For%u202Funderweight%u202Fcan be a concern during adolescence. A healthy diet will meet nutrition needs without providing too much or too little energy. It is not uncommon now-a-days to find teenagers who put unnecessary pressure on themselves to become as thin as they can even if it is not healthy. This problem is more common in girls. Following%u202Ffad diets, or eliminating whole food groups to lose weight is not recommended and can be dangerous.
Teenagers are smart enough to appreciate the benefits of a healthy diet, but they are also easily tempted by fast and tasty junk food. The trick to creating a weekly meal plan for teens is to include plenty of delicious nutritious substitutes for junk foods, by the help of which the teens will not object to eat their favorite meals two or three times a week.
I can help assess whether you are on the right track to living a long and healthy life or recommend a well-balanced diet that will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.Being healthy is more important than looking good, after all.%u202FTeenagers are often very busy with school, work, and sports schedules. Help them plan their day if they will not be home for meals. Send healthy snacks or packed lunches with him. This will help them avoid filling up on "junk" food or high fat foods. They may need extra snacks to take with them or meals they can prepare quickly.
Your teenager still learns from your healthy eating habits. Teach by example and praise his/her good food choices whenever you can. Try not to be critical of their appearance at this time of life. As they easily get too worried about their body image. If they are eating too much or too little, it can effect their growth.To help with this plan, you must learn about your child's dietary health.
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