We often hear teenagers say (or if you’re one, you probably say this a lot) that they don’t need a diet, that they will get one when they grow older. But this is not true; teens need to munch on a healthy diet. It is never too early for anybody to start healthy eating habits.
A healthy lifestyle for the teenager is necessary for them to use their full body potential. Healthy eating also enables teenagers to do their daily tasks and routines, it makes them livelier, gives them strength, keeps them awake when they need to and helps in the development of their body and brain.
Like any other diet, a teen’s suitable diet is a well-balanced diet. Too much and/or too less is not good. Teenagers today tend to eat much sugar and caffeine. This is not a healthy habit for teens. Also, they tend to rely on fast food more than home-cooked meals (haven’t they saw Super Size Me?!). Fast food is not so bad if you eat it once a month, but to munch on it, every day or every week is bad for your body. Fast food is a bunch of processed food, and processed food is not a good diet for teenagers, just because it lacks the nutrients that their young body needs.
Basically, a healthy diet for youngsters should consist of mostly brae, grains and wheat products. Not the fatty and oily slices of bread like processed muffins full of sugar or cinnamon rolls, but the healthy ones – wheat cereals, fresh bread, bran muffins and/or bran crackers.
Next to that, meats, beans, fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables are pretty much on the same level, meaning they should be taken in the same quantity. Try fruits and veggies that are rich in fiber. Green leafy vegetables should also be a big part of the diet habits. (Note: broccoli is not a green-leafy)
In the old food pyramid, milk and dairy products should be consumed in small amounts, while the new food pyramid suggests otherwise. To avoid further debate, I suggest that for a safe and healthy diet for teens, they should be educated to eat non-fat dairy products. Try yogurt cheese. Also, non-fat fresh milk is good for the body; it provides calcium and strengthen your bones. You can also try skimmed milk or soy milk to supply calcium to your body.
And lastly, one of the key components is little or no sweets. Sweets like chocolate bars and candies all contain processed sugar. Also, processed sugar is not really a finest one for teens because it is stored in the body as fat. Coffee, soda drinks or caffeine, in general, should also be avoided. Caffeine makes it difficult for them to sleep, and sleep is also an important need aside from the mentioned ones. Plus, the sugar in the soda drinks makes the body crave more sugar.
As teenagers, there’s always parties and alcohol, and we can’t actually stop them from drinking. So I suggest watching their alcohol intake because alcohol has a high-calorie intake and also leads to further cravings. These are no-no’s.
And the essential part of a perfect diet for teenagers is water. Teens need to consume at least eight glasses of water every day. Water cleanses our body and keeps us from dehydrating.
Follow these guidelines and watch your teenagers’ diet habits slowly manifest through their actions and see the changes in their body.