Are you worried that your teen is not eating properly and may not be getting the required nutrition? Do you want to plan out a meal chart that your teen will find interesting enough to eat? Does your teen love eating junk food and you want to encourage the benefits of eating at home? If you are facing any of these issues with your teen's food habits, read on to more about the nutritional needs for teenagers and what you can do about it. Here is a look at the main nutrients your teen needs during these days -
Protein: Protein is extremely important for your teen's growth and development. It helps to build, repair and maintain the tissues in your teen's body. In order for the body to grow and maintain muscle strength, it is very important to consume proteins. On an average, around 45-60 gm of protein is required. Consuming non-vegetarian food can easily make your teen obtain protein from meat and fish. Whereas, vegetarian food supplies protein from pulses, beans, soya, etc.
Iron: Improper intake of iron can lead to anaemia and fatigue. Basically iron is responsible for oxygen supply to muscles, proper brain functioning and developing immune system for fighting diseases. A teenage boy requires 12 mg of iron, but a teenage girl requires at least 15 mg iron to make up for menstrual losses. Foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grain, meat, nuts, etc, are enriched with iron.
Calcium: Deficiency of calcium leads to weak bones and osteoporosis in later stages of life. You teenager should get 1200 mg of calcium from the food he/she consume every day. Include calcium rich foods like dairy products, cereals, leafy vegetables, etc., in your teen's diet. Besides, it is advisable to reduce the intake of soda drinks and overly sugary foods that tend to suck up calcium from the bones.
Vitamins and minerals: If your teen has a balanced diet, he will get his requisite dose of all the essential nutrients. Vitamins and minerals increase your teen's immunity and protect him from various health conditions like anemia, night blindness, weakness and so on. Though your teen can get most of the required vitamin and mineral from foods, the doctor may sometimes also suggest some vital supplements for him. Some very good sources of vitamins and minerals are milk, yogurt, cheese, liver, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, mangoes, papaya, and kiwi. (excerpt)
The writer is a regular contributor at www.momjunction.com
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