Adolescence is crucial since this is the time of growth for physical, emotional, and mental development. Teenagers must maintain a healthy diet to nurture their heightened nutritional needs. They need to take more protein, calcium, and iron compared to their lower years. They must likewise take precautions in their food intake to prevent them from falling short of their nutritional requirements. Moreover, they must at least be knowledgeable of the foods they should limit, how their body works, how to be active, and much more.
However, it’s no secret how vulnerable adolescents are when it comes to poor eating habits. Lifestyle changes such as eating outside their home, getting some part-time jobs, and dating often contribute to an unhealthy diet. Also, lack of knowledge about nutrition influences teenager’s bad food preferences.
In addition, having a balanced life is also challenging for most teenagers. Some of them find it overwhelming to balance their life towards school activities, social pressure, and various family situations. This will often result to unhealthy lifestyles which could haunt them for a lifetime.
As early as of now, parents must expose their teenage sons and daughters to healthy practices. They must educate them about proper nutrition and how to withstand difficulties in life. That way, the chances of their teenagers to live a healthy and balanced life will be higher.
Here are some of the important nutrients that every adolescent should maintain:
Adolescents need to consume more calories than at any other point in their lives. Teenage boys require the intake of 2,800 calories per day while girls need 2,200 calories. These caloric requirements are even higher for teens that are very active or sports-minded.
Vitamins and Minerals
Some adolescents tend to fall short of their daily nutritional requirements due to some factors including eating outside their home, media, and peer pressure. The role of parents to address this problem is really needed so that teens can have all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for their body. Failure to address these issues may result in poor eating habits throughout their lives.
Protein is important for adolescents as they build and repair muscles, promote healthy hair and skin, defend the body against infections, and transport oxygen in the blood. Researchers say that adolescents should consume at least five ounces of protein daily. An ounce of protein is equal to an ounce of meat, an egg, and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Meanwhile, the body of adolescents, who are into sports, may require more protein intake than those who are not as active.