Teens DietThe period of transition from childhood to adulthood is called adolescence (teen age). There is an accelerated physical, mental and emotional growth and developments occur during this period. It is in fact the second and final growth spurt. Growth spurt for girls is between 10 to 13 years of age and that for boys is between 12 to 15 years. Nutritional requirements are higher during these different periods of growth spurt. Other reasons for different nutritional requirements for boys and girls is different hormonal secretions and also bigger frames of body in case of boys than in girls.
Physical, psychological and social pressures influence adolescent’s eating habits. They may skip meals, prefer fast foods which are inadequate in essential nutrients especially calcium and vitamin A but high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. Sometimes self imposed diets to maintain their figure may result in complex and far reaching disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
Ways to provide good nutrition to Teenagers.
- Meals taken at home, breakfast & dinner to include most of the vitamins and minerals.
- Leafy and other vegetables can be incorporated in the form of snack preparations.
- Fruit juices, lassi, milk shakes may be taken in place of carbonated drinks.
- Girls should pay special attention to protein, vitamin C and iron intake.
- Monitor weight gain, gain in height and body build. Consult expert at the earliest if feeding problems are suspected.