As children get older their nutritional needs change. A child that has just entered their teenage years is starting to experience things such as puberty and also rapid growth spurts which gives them completely different diet needs to younger children. Eating properly during this phase of growth is very important for children as their bodies are changing and need proper nutrition to avoid health problems such as diabetes and obesity later in life.
Nutritional needs for teenage boys and teenage girls differs with boys requiring a larger intake of calories than girls. During this period in their lives it is important for all teenagers get enough calories, protein, calcium and iron to help with their development. The protein intake is required for growth and maintenance of muscles, calcium is needed for the growth and development of bones and iron is required for providing the muscles with much needed oxygen.
One of the easier healthy eating habits that you can establish with your teenagers is to make sure that they have breakfast regularly. Missing breakfast is detrimental to the body as it needs some nutrition after the long period of time spent sleeping. Some of the problems that develop from not having breakfast is that teens will often feel fatigued with low energy for the morning, they will tend to snack on unhealthy foods and miss out on essential nutrients required for their development. Making sure that your teenager has at the very least a piece of fruit or a bowl of cereal can have a huge positive effect on their health and development.
Another thing to consider when developing healthy eating habits for teenagers is that they seem to be hungry all the time (especially teenage boys) and will tend to snack all day. It is important to plan ahead for healthy snacks so that you have enough of them and that they are healthy. It is important to include the teenagers when buying snacks as they generally won’t eat things that they do not like and it gives you a chance to guide them to more healthier snack options.
If you have one or more teenagers in the house hold it pays to be organised especially if both parents work. Planning ahead is important in this situation so there are enough snacks for the children to eat after school without them having to resort to sugary or salty snacks from the corner store on their way home from school.