Healthy Diet Plan for Teenagers

Updated July 19, 2017

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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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About the Author

Parker Janney is a web developer and writer based in Philadelphia. With a Master of Arts in international politics, she has been ghostwriting for several underground publications since the late 2000s, with works featured in "Virtuoso," the "Philadelphia Anthropology Journal" and "Clutter" magazine.