As teens become more independent in their food choices, they tend to make the wrong choices – even teens that were brought up eating healthy.
Relationship Between Nutrition and Physical Growth
By eating nutritious foods with lower caloric value, teens can experience a feeling of fullness and improve nutrient intake. The growing independence of high school kids increases participation in their social life. They have a generally busy schedule of activities which has a great impact on the way they eat. Nutrition and physical growth are integrally related. Optimal nutrition is a requisite for achieving full growth results.
Health-Related Problems Common in High School Kids
Studies have shown that there are a significant number of health-related problems which adolescents have, like obesity, and eating disorders in spite of students taking nutrition classes in school. A good eating plan focuses on the principles of satiety – the body’s signal that it’s full – by enhancing the feeling of fullness while simultaneously consuming fewer calories on food intake.
High School Kids Need More Nutrients
The total nutrient needs are higher for high school kids than any other time in life. In high school, body composition and biological changes occur which affect gender specific nutrient needs. High school kids have a great appetite. Meal times are irregular due to pre-occupation with books, comics, friends and dating. Snacking in between meals is therefore common among them.
Healthy Eating Tips
A few things to keep in mind while planning a diet for a high school kid.
• They should eat at least three meals a day.
• At this age, eating breakfast can upstart the metabolism, which will help in mood control, weight control and school performance.
• Caloric needs vary depending on their growth rate, degree of physical maturation, body composition, and activity level.
• The kids of this age group eat too much high caloric snack food and high fat food because of school, sports and work schedules overlapping with regular meal times, which has to be avoided.
• Snacks should be wholesome and not only a source of energy but also proteins and other essential nutrients.
• Kids can choose healthier drinks by having fruit juice or fruit flavored carbonated water and water instead of soda.
• Adequate amounts of calcium and iron are particularly important as the body of high school kids undergo this intensive growth period.
Diet and nutrition patterns adopted during these developmental years will set the stage for life-long habits which can make the difference between vitality and infirmity in later years.