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Healthy Eating: Best Diet Plan for Teenagers (Age-13 to 18)

Healthy Eating: Best Diet Plan for Teenagers (Age-13 to 18)

Healthy Eating: Best Diet Plan for Teenagers (Age-13 to 18)

Teenage years play a very important role in the growth of body and mind. As a parent, you might be wondering what’s the best diet plan or the ideal diet plan for teenagers? What would be considered a healthy option and what things to avoid?diet plan for teenagers

We have come up with this blog to answer your question regarding the best diet plan for your teenager. We know it’s tempting for teens to opt for food that has too many calories and avoid homecooked healthy food. But these habits might lead to obesity and associated risks.

A study conducted by WHO shows a tenfold increase in childhood and adolescent obesity in the past four decades. 

On the other hand, the teens may also get influenced (negatively) by social media and the glamour world. Many teenagers pressurize themselves to have “ a perfect figure”. Which leads to indulgence in unhealthy practices – like starving, vomiting immediately after eating. 

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Healthy Eating Practices

 As guardians and well-wishers, it’s our duty to nudge the teens towards making healthy food choices and inculcating healthy food habits. So here are some starters for healthy eating –

As far as possible avoid packaged food, candy bars, sugary drinks, junk food, chips, burgers, donuts. Nudge them to opt for fresh fruit juice, lemonade in place of coke. Explain why a balanced diet is important.

Let’s look further to see what other healthy eating options do we have. But before that, you need to know the nutrition requirement of your teen. 

A teen girl would need- around 2,200 calories each day. 

A Teen boy would need- around 2,500 to 3,000 calories each day. 

Your Diet Chart must include –

Carbohydrates (carbs)

Carbohydrates would be the main source of fuel for your teen and the main component of the diet plan. You can pick up from a variety of healthy carbs like – whole wheat, vegetables, and milk. Fruits like bananas and apples also have carbs in them. 

healthy eating habits are important for teenagersAnother source of carbs is millet. Once a staple food of the greater part of our subcontinent, millets are also rich in zinc, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.  

Millet examples – ragi(finger millet), jowar(sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), foxtail millet etc. 

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Proteins

Teenagers need protein in proper proportion to build strength they are another (equally important) component of your teen’s diet plan. About a quarter of the calories should come from here. 

Some good sources of protein – are seafood, low-fat meat/lean meat, eggs, legumes, and low-fat dairy products.

Fats 

Fats have been given a bad name by many. But the fact is, while trans-fats are harmful, the others (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) are very essential for us. Fats help with growth. They also help our body to absorb vitamins (fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E). About a quarter of your teen’s calories should come from here. 

The source of healthy fats- nuts, olives, whole eggs, fatty fish, chia seeds, and oils (like olive, canola, sunflower, peanut, avocados). 

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Vitamins and fibers

Carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes are the best sources of Vitamin A. You should also give your teenager at least one serving of citrus fruit, rich in Vitamin C. You must also include things that are rich in fiber like beetroot, broccoli, and lentils in your teen’s diet plan.

Why consult a nutritionist?

If your teen has suffered from disproportionate weight loss/weight gain or you have some food allergy, it is better to consult a nutritionist/dietician. 

The dietician will help you to develop an individualized diet plan. They will also help you with weight management in a safe and gradual way. If you suffer from some chronic digestive problem, the dietician/nutritionist will help you find the cause of your discomfort and try to rectify it. 

To sum it up, it’s better to limit the intake of food that contains lots of sugar, salt, trans-fats, and preservatives.

Help your teen to follow a diet plan that is wholesome and nutritious. Make them understand the benefits of healthy eating and if you find it hard to move forward you can connect with an expert nutritionist NOW!

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