Healthy diet plans for teenagers - losing weight, growth and attitude.
Putting together diet plans for teenagers is the same as for adults, with the exception that they are still growing, so a healthy diet for teens in imperative. Teens losing weight can easily adversely affect their growth and development with dieting, so it's important to focus on what they need first.
Many teenagers don't seem to understand that they are not only getting taller, or broader in the shoulder, and bigger in the chest, but that everything on their inside is growing too!
To get taller, you're skeleton needs to grow...that's bone trying to grow there! Their brains are growing...wow! That's an important part of the body, their muscles, internal organs...everything needs to grow!
Yet, many teenagers are overweight, many are desperate to start losing weight, and many feel badly about what's happening, so focus firstly on the things they can do and eat that will both help them with their concerns and keep them growing strong.
Diet plans for teenagers that don't risk development
If your teenager is overweight, that means that their diet and physical activity need some adjustment. And just because they're getting bigger in all the wrong places doesn't mean they're getting the right nutrients for growth.
A teenage diet plan should include plenty of low fat, low sugar foods...just like adults losing weight, but they need these more, particularly calcium, and a wide range of proteins and the good things found in fresh foods.
Daily foods as part of a healthy diet for teens
Many teenagers get plenty of calories, but are lacking in the basics. Is your teenager (or are you, if you're a teen) getting these as the bare minimum:
- 3 serves of calcium a day - low fat milk, low fat low sugar yogurt, cheese, light sour cream (great on vegetables).
- 5-6 lots of low GI (slow burning) carbohydrates - like wholegrain breads, Basmati rice, oats, and corn are some examples
- 2 lots of protein (on top of the dairy products) - these can come from meat (lean), low fat ham, eggs, fish, chicken, nuts are great for a wide range of nutrients and protein too.
- 3 fruits and 5 vegetables every day
That's quite a bit of food, and it doesn't mean that they can't have extras, fast foods, and so on. But the extras may not be providing them with what they need to grow. There's also another reason for healthy diet plans for teenagers.
A good teenage diet plan can improve their mood and their attitude.
It's true...food affects our mood. Foods that are processed fast, and which up sugar levels quickly and then just as quickly drop off, play havoc with our moods! For all of us, but for teenagers with the growing and the hormonal changes, their can have mood shifts that scare everyone else (and themselves sometimes) half-to-death...they can be volatile to say the least.
Getting the foods they do need - first, then reducing the amount of processed quick release foods that they eat - second, can have a huge affect on the moods of teenagers.
As a teacher I've seen attitudes and concentration ability improve markedly once the food choices available at the canteen changed. It doesn't remove it altogether, that's part of growing up, but it can make a big difference, and make it much easier for them to deal with things...and for us to deal with them.
Diet plans for teenagers...in summary
Firstly, start focusing on getting them eating what they need.
Secondly, cut back and replace those things they don't need - like sugary drinks, highly processed foods, and take the time to explain to them the effects these foods have on their weight and their attitude, and their bodies.
Do remember that they aren't 5 anymore, and that they are going to be less willing to do something just because you say it's 'good for them'. Explain to them why, encourage them to ask questions, and if you don't know the answer help them find out.
Do remind them that they are growing, so their bodies are going to change shape a lot, and many times over these years.
Don't focus on their weight, but acknowledge it if they are struggling with it, and build the good things into their diets.
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