Today's youngsters, especially teenagers are ignorant about long-term benefits of a healthy diet. Fast foods are very popular among teenagers and often a routine diet for them. But these 'junk' foods will affect overall health and aggravate nutrient deficiency. Making healthy food choices is the key to have a well-built physique and this habit of having a nutritious diet needs to be inculcated in teenagers for better health.
Diets for Teenagers
Following are the foods that cover the nutritional requirements of a teen body.
Diet for teenagers must include foods high in fiber. These foods have a high nutrition value and are low in fats. Most importantly, high fiber diet promotes overall health as it is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Wondering which foods come under the list of foods high in fiber? Good diet includes foods such as vegetables (Brussels sprouts, carrot, boiled broccoli), fruits (raisins, bananas and apple) and whole wheat bread. Moreover vegetables like tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and provide anti-aging effects.
Teenagers without fail should drink at least a glass of milk everyday. In fact, milk is regarded as a complete food and an elixir for good health. So as a parent you should ensure that your child takes a glass of milk everyday in the morning and evening. Milk is rich in nutrients like vitamins, proteins and minerals. Most importantly, it is high in calcium and as we all know adequate intake of calcium is crucial to build strong bones. Teenagers taking a glass of milk daily will definitely have good bones that will remain healthy for years to come. For optimal health of teeth and bones, having milk in sufficient amounts is necessary. Milk is rich in vitamin A and vitamin B12 that are essential to maintain normal eyesight. Diet for teenagers is incomplete without including other dairy products.
Intake of proteins is recommended for proper muscle growth. Our muscles are primarily made up of proteins. Thus, protein rich foods are a tool for proper growth and maintenance of muscles. Well cooked fish, lean meat (skinless chicken) as well as boiled eggs are a great way to fulfill the protein requirements of our body. Besides being high in proteins, they are also low in unhealthy fats and hence are a key component of weight loss diets for teenagers.
Teenagers love fast foods but as parents you need to make them aware of the fact that consumption of these 'junk' foods will not provide any nutrition to the body. Fast foods have a high calorie content, so eating them on a regular basis, can lead to excess weight gain. Now being overweight predisposes a person to obesity. Thus, one can say that obesity and fast food are related. Teenagers who are obese are indirectly put on the path that leads to various health problems. Eating a burger or fried chips, once in a while is OK but surely cannot be a part of diet for teenagers.
Tips for Healthy Eating
Teen years is a very important period of life and is typically marked by rapid physical growth. Giving healthy food a miss during this period can cause a lifetime of regret. To keep away health from declining and to ensure a good start to adulthood, parents need to inculcate the following eating habits among their children.
- See to it that your child does not leave the home without having a healthy breakfast. This is because breakfast is the most important meal and should be nutritious enough to keep your child active and energetic throughout the day.
- It is observed that teenagers have developed a fetish for fizzy drinks. Although adequate fluid intake is essential, it should not come from carbonated drinks. Fresh vegetable or fruit juices or simply water are some of the options to keep the body well hydrated.
- Having meals in haste is one habit often noticed among teenagers. Instead of gobbling, giving utmost priority to chewing the food properly is very important and plays a critical role in digestion.
- The habit of chatting or watching the idiot box (TV) during meals is not a proper way of eating food. This way, one unknowingly tends to eat in excess, which eventually leads to weight gain. Therefore, one should wholly focus on the act of eating and the enjoy the taste of every morsel food to the fullest.
- Teens often feel like having a snack in between meals. As a parent, it is your responsibility that they do not indulge in processed foods but go for healthy snacks like almonds, protein shakes and slices of fresh apples and pear.
Although, these foods form an integral part of healthy diet, they should be eaten in moderation. Overeating and lack of physical activity are the main factors that has led to widespread occurrence of obesity among teenagers. So, whether you have a teenage daughter or a boy, make sure that he/she follows an exercise regime and good eating habits.