Adolescence is the growth and development phase in the life of an individual. It is also the time when he/she indulges in erratic eating habits, as his/her life starts filling up with friends, study pressures, etc. It is noted that during teenage years, a youngster binges more on fast food rather than nutritious food. Healthy eating and a balanced diet are very important at this stage. A teenager should be encouraged to eat healthy food during his/her growing years, so that he/she gets all the nutrients necessary for growth. Read on to get tips on proper diet and nutrition for your teenager.
Nutrition for Teens
Breakfast is the most important meal for the day. A healthy breakfast is very essential to kick start the day. A teenager who does not have his breakfast remains almost 16 hours without food, before he has his lunch break. Such a long gap is undesirable and hampers growth in the long run. Healthy breakfast fuels the body and provides the required energy. Some healthy foods and drinks that can be offered for as breakfast are a shake or a smoothie, whole wheat toast, cereal - dried or cooked, sliced fresh fruits, finger food vegetables, hard-boiled eggs and whole-wheat muffins.
After attending classes for about 3 to 4 hours past breakfast, a child tends to get hungry. However, there are some who would love to play during their recess, rather than eat. There are also some kids who throw away their food because they do not like it. When they come home, they pretend to have eaten their food. Make your child's lunch box interesting, so that he/she eats it completely. Nutritious, quick-bite meals are another option, as they leave a child with enough time to play also. Apples, oranges, sandwiches - with variety of add-on, fish mixed with sliced cucumbers, sprouts, grated carrots, hard boiled eggs and chopped celery, are a few options you can opt for, as lunch for your child.
After School Snacks
There is a long gap between the lunch time and the time when your teenage child sits for dinner. Most of the youngsters get hungry in-between and want an immediate energy booster. This would be a great time to add nutrients in their diet. Have a lot of options for them to binge on, in the early evening. Dried fruits - spread with peanut butter or fruit butter are liked by almost all the kids and also high in nutrients. Other options you can go for include coconut shavings, dates, sunflower seeds, pretzel sticks, banana chips, popcorns, whole wheat crackers, colorful fruits, soup, etc.
This is the only time when the whole family is together for the meal. You can go for variety in this particular meal. The best bet would be to cook different things and have your child taste each one of them. This way, you can have him/her develop tastes for different food. Remember, children are always attracted to food that looks interesting. So, take care to garnish the food well. The best bet for a lovely dinner would be steak or prime rib - with visible fat cut off, seafood or fish, vegetable of the day, sautéed mushrooms, salads, baked sweet potato - with butter, béarnaise sauce on veggies or meat. For dessert, cheesecake qualifies as the best deal. You can also have filler foods like bread or a bowl of pasta to bribe the kids to stay at the dinner table.