What Should a Healthy Teenager Eat?
What Should a Healthy Teenager Eat?
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve your health, or simply want to stay fit, there are many things to consider when determining the best diet for your teen. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a healthy teenager’s diet. Start by sticking to a few healthy food groups, like fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and low-sodium foods.
Fruits and vegetables
As the growth and development of young people progress, it is essential to include plenty of healthy foods in their diet. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to keep the appetite in check, and if possible, you should avoid giving in to unhealthy snack foods. Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is recommended for all age groups to prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer. They also contain important nutrients and fiber.
When planning your child’s mealtime, make sure to include a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in his or her diet. A variety of colors is important, so include seasonal fruits and vegetables. Also, consider purchasing tinned or frozen fruits. Try to drink plenty of water to wash the produce, as well as fruit juices. Although fruit juices contain a good amount of vitamins and fiber, these are usually high in natural sugars and low in fiber.
Many adolescents shy away from dairy foods because they fear the fat content. However, dairy products are an excellent way to get the recommended daily allowance of calcium without fat. An eight-ounce glass of skim milk contains only 80 calories and no fat, and it provides roughly 1/3 of the daily requirement of calcium. Low-fat and nonfat dairy products are great alternatives to sweetened beverages, like sodas.
Studies of dairy intake have not found any link between high-fat and low-fat dairy intake and cardiovascular disease in children. The researchers also took into account other factors that could increase the risk of developing heart disease, including high-fat consumption. One study looked at the effects of low-fat milk on children who were overweight or obese. In addition to milk, dairy consumption was associated with low-grade chronic inflammation, physical activity, and blood pressure.
To cut back on sodium in food, you can add spices, herbs, and vegetables to the meal instead. When choosing recipes, look for foods with less than five grams of sodium per serving. Use the words “low sodium” instead of “high sodium” or “light sodium.” You can also choose to serve these foods with low-sodium sauces or dips. Try using these suggestions to create delicious meals.
For your child’s meals, limit their intake of processed foods and high sodium foods. Avoid commercially prepared pizza, boxed pasta mixes, and cured meats. Try not to use too many salty condiments. Instead, look for low or no-sodium versions. There are plenty of low-sodium options available in restaurants and grocery stores. Many restaurants will even prepare food without salt.
Youngsters are often exposed to sugary drinks, such as sodas and energy drinks, which are not only high in calories but also contain added sugar. Moreover, they should be limited to three 12 oz servings of these drinks per week. Instead, teens should make water their main beverage. They can add flavors to water by adding slices of cucumber or lemon or choosing sparkling waters without added sugar.
A healthy teenager should limit his or her fat intake to 25 to 35 percent of the daily caloric intake. When choosing fats, teens should opt for unsaturated fats rather than saturated ones. These fats are healthier and are found in olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, and nuts. In addition to fats, teenagers should drink plenty of water and low-fat milk. They should also avoid artificially sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit juices, except on special occasions.
Most adolescents avoid dairy products because they think they will make them fat. However, skim and fat-free milk is a great way to get calcium without the added calories. One glass of skim milk contains 80 calories, zero fat, and supplies about 1/3 of a teenager’s daily requirement of calcium. Low-fat and nonfat dairy products are great alternatives to sweetened drinks and sodas. Teenagers should consider switching to milk or low-fat alternatives for their morning and nightly breakfasts.
Milk helps your teenager get the recommended daily allowance of protein. 1% or 2% protein should be sufficient for most teenagers. Also, milk is rich in calcium, iron, and phosphorus, which are important for bone growth. Moreover, milk helps a teenager get the right amount of nutrients for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. Teenagers should aim to consume at least three to four cups of milk each day, so it is important to make sure that they get adequate amounts of calcium and protein.