Teen nutrition is one of the major areas of focus for many parents. A healthy eating routine is key to providing the basics, but teens should be encouraged to enjoy a variety of healthy foods. Your teen will feel and look better if they are eating a well-balanced diet. No matter what, you need to be aware of these teen nutrition basics.
Begin With Healthy Family Meals
Healthy eating should begin with family meals. Whether your family meal consists of three separate courses or two main entrees, there are many ways to prepare each meal. The main difference is how each meal is prepared and what it can offer to your family in terms of nutrition. The main course may include meat, vegetables, and, in some cases, cheese, but it does necessarily have to.
If you are hosting a family meal, you can prepare a few appetizers and side dishes ahead of time so that you will not be rushing to serve everyone at once. Keep the meal simple, using only a few ingredients and some of the healthiest vegetables. Avoid heavy sauces or anything that will leave the child feeling hungry even after having the meal.
Talk to your child about what he would like to eat during the family meal. Ask them which vegetables they prefer and what types of proteins they are looking forward to having.
Once the family meal is prepared, take the time to talk to them about the main course and side dishes. For example, let them know that there is a fish or poultry dish in the meal and why it is essential for their nutrition. Use these small talks to teach them about teen nutrition.
Give Importance To Fruits & Vegetables
Eating an assortment of fruits and vegetables is the first step to a healthy eating routine. A mix of fruits and vegetables in your teens’ plan should consist of 1-2 serving of fruit and at least one serving of vegetables. Allow your kids to choose different vegetables of varying colors and textures.
Include Plenty Of Protein
Protein forms an important part of teen nutrition. They are essential for your kid’s muscle development and overall growth. Some of the best protein-rich foodstuffs include beans, lentils, meat, chicken, fish, nuts, and tofu. Besides protein, this foodstuff is also rich in other vitamins and minerals including zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin B12, etc.
If you are preparing a meat dish, it should be cooked medium and served with some sort of sauce, but this is optional. Ask your child what he would like in his meal.
Prefer Whole Grains
Your kid’s meal should include at least two servings of whole grains including whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, brown rice, whole cornmeal, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread. Whole grains will provide your kids energy they need to do the important tasks for the day.
Go Dairy-Free Or Choose Reduced-Fat Dairy
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are essential as they provide calcium to which is required to build strong bones. So, make your eats east reduced-fat dairy products such as no-fat Greek yogurt and fat-free milk. If your kiddo doesn’t like dairy, give them nuts, seeds, tofu, and soy milk.