Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers

Written by parker janney | 13/05/2017
Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers
Teens often need guidance to put them on a healthy eating track. (group of teens image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com)

The teen years are a time of enormous growth, both emotional and physical. The growing teen body needs nutrients and energy-rich foods to develop and function properly. Healthy diet habits established during the teen years can form the foundation for a healthful adult life.

Find and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers
Never begin a diet regimen without first consulting your physician. (diet image by Pershing from Fotolia.com)

Before commencing any diet plan, talk to your doctor about finding a weight that is healthy and comfortable for you. You might need to lose weight or put on additional pounds, but consult a professional before attempting to make this decision on your own.

Let the Pyramid Be Your Guide

Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers
Bananas are rich in potassium and a good addition to a teen's diet. (banana image by Marek Kosmal from Fotolia.com)

To learn what to eat, examine the food guide pyramid for growing teens. Get plenty of whole grains, leafy vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet, and consume meat, dairy and sweets in moderation. The purpose of the pyramid is to emphasise the nutritional content some foods have compared with others; on this basis, it steers you toward healthful choices.

Diversify

Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers
Avoid diet boredom by trying new foods. (healthy foods image by Steve Lovegrove from Fotolia.com)

No one wants to eat the same thing over and over again. Incorporate a variety of healthful foods into your diet, and don't be afraid to try new things. Eating a variety also increases the chance that you are getting the diverse nutrients you need.

Educate on Eating Disorders

Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers
Many U.S. teens meet the criteria for anorexia nervosa. (dieta vegetale image by Daniela Starace from Fotolia.com)

The majority of adults with eating disorders first exhibited symptoms during their teen years. People are more appearance-conscious in their teens than at any other time in their development, making them particularly susceptible to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Anorexia is characterised by a refusal to maintain a healthy body weight, and bulimics exhibit binge eating followed by purging. Teens should pay attention to the motivations behind what they eat and choose foods for health, not for weight.

Avoid Diets

Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers
Diets do not work because they are only designed to last a short amount of time. (diet image by siloto from Fotolia.com)

The word "diet" in our culture has come to signify a manner of eating designed to lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. Because of their faddish nature, diets do not work. The majority of people who lose weight on a diet end up gaining it back --- and then some. Diets have no place in a healthy teen diet. Focus instead on long-term, healthy changes in what you eat.

Be Smart About Alcohol

Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers
There's no place for alcohol in a healthy diet plan. (beer in beer-mug image by Witold Krasowski from Fotolia.com)

Even though the legal drinking age in all U.S. states is 21, almost 80 per cent of high school students have tried alcohol, reports the Kids Health website, citing the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse statistics. Teens who drink are more likely to experience weight gain and future health problems, such as liver, brain and heart damage.

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