Teenagers: 11 tips for proper nutrition

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Marie-Ange Demory
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There is always a lot of insistence - and rightly so - on the importance of proper nutrition in childhood, but adolescence is also not to be neglected

from this point of view, because the nutrients needed in this age are many and an incorrect diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies.





In his latest book How to feed my son (LSWR Editions, 2022), the Ligurian pediatrician Alberto Ferrando addresses the issue in an overview that starts from the first days of life. Indeed, even earlier, considering the importance of nutrition during pregnancy.

Read also: Feeding children and adolescents: how to manage it without stress in the new book by pediatrician Alberto Ferrando

On the other hand, remember the pediatrician:



the adolescent's nutrition follows the same general principles as that of the child: he will eat adequate food or not, based on the education he had in previous years

With the practical and concrete approach that characterizes the whole book, Ferrando offers a series of tips to make the diet of adolescents healthier and more balanced, remembering that between 11 and 15 years aged girls and boys should consume between 1980 and 2380 kcal per day. Let's see them.



1. Eat at the table all together once a day or, at least, on weekends and holidays, in a convivial atmosphere.

2. Never skip breakfast and eat complex carbohydrates and fresh fruit for immediate and long-term energy.

3. When eating away from home (in the canteen at school or with friends) choose the healthiest foods available (salad instead of chips).

4. Aside from school, try to anyway eat often at home and consider the restaurant or, worse, fast food, just an occasional outing.

5. As a snack, it is better to avoid snacks from vending machines, which are high in calories and low in nutrients and are often high in saturated fat and preservatives. Better to bring something healthy from home, like yogurt or fruit.

6. At dinner, it is better to focus on lean meat, legumes, a couple of vegetables, whole grains and, if you want a fruit-based dessert.

7. Moderate portions and eat more often. Five meals a day are ideal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, mid-morning snack and mid-afternoon snack.

8. Eat slowly: helps digestion and speeds up the sense of satiety.

9. Vary your diet a lot, with a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables that are always different.

Read also: Mediterranean diet, 13 things to know everything

10. Limit foods in cans, boxes, bags, jars and packages, which tend to have a high content of preservatives, sugars, salt, fats.

11. Drink lots of water - about 2-2,5 liters per day - and avoid alcoholic beverages.

The ideal would be not to "impose" these habits from above on your adolescent son, already committed, in this age of affirmation of autonomy, to avoid regulations and controls. As the pediatrician points out, it would be best to try to sow well from childhood, developing "the taste for variety, the intake of vegetables, whole carbohydrates, legumes and fish". And naturally setting a good example.

Alberto Ferrando he is a pediatrician, president of the Liguria pediatricians association, writer (he also published How to raise my son and pediatric first aid) and blogger.

TAG:
  • healthy nutrition
  • adolecent nutrition
  • teens
  • 6-14 children years
Audio Video Teenagers: 11 tips for proper nutrition
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