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Expert Article: Importance of Nutrition for Teenagers

Teenagers go through big physical changes in puberty. They need extra nutrition to fuel these physical changes, which means they need to eat healthy food.

Your child's level of physical activity and stage of development determine exactly how much healthy food they need. But you'll notice your child has a bigger appetite, which is their body's way of telling them to eat more.

Adolescence is considered an important period for physical, mental and emotional development. During this, the right nutrients play an important role in overall development [1]. According to research published on the website of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), calories and protein are essential for growth in adolescence. Research further states that adolescent girls need about 2200 calories per day and adolescent boys need 2500-3000 calories. Along with this, nutrients like fat, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins and fibre are also needed to promote physical and mental development during this time [2].

The importance of proper nutrition in adolescence is also high because its deficiency can lead to far-reaching consequences, including stunted growth, sexual immaturity, osteoporosis (weak bones), hyperlipidemia (increased fat in the blood) and Includes obesity. In addition, lack of proper nutrition can also increase the risk of later pregnancy.

After knowing the importance of nutrition, here we are telling you what is called a balanced diet for teenagers.

A balanced diet refers to all those foods that fulfil the necessary nutrients in the body. Junk foods and non-nutrition foods are not added to this. Along with this, the quantity and right time of food are also important. As we mentioned above, adolescence requires more protein and calorie-rich food for growth. Along with this, fruits, vegetables and grains containing essential nutrients like calcium, vitamins, fibre and iron are also important. So that proper physical and mental development can take place. Below we are sharing with you a diet chart for teenagers, with the help of which one can get an idea of ​​what types of foods can be included in a teen's daily diet [3][4].

Physical Development And Nutrition

You will see rapid physical development in children between the ages of 11.5 to 16 years. During their peak, chicks grow up to 9 cm (3.5 in) tall each year. Along with this, there is an increase in the size of all the organs and systems of the body. As a result of this changes also occur in the sex organs, only between the age of 11-12, the menstruation cycle ie periods start. This is the age when the sweat, odour and oil glands of the body become more active [5].

Balanced Diet And Nutrition

A balanced diet includes all the food groups (cereals, pulses/meats, fruits and vegetables, dairy and dairy products, fats and oils) in the right amounts to provide the body with the necessary nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre). If you have a child of this age in your house as well, then plan every hour's meal from breakfast to dinner in such a way that your child gets all the nutrition regularly [6][7].

  • Proteins - Proteins are essential for muscle building, damage repair, growth, and making antibodies. To provide an adequate amount of protein to children, including milk, egg, meat, soybean, lentils, paneer and beans in their diet.
  • Fruits and vegetables - Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. All these nutrients are very important for physical and mental development. Along with this, immunity is strengthened and the body gets strength. Make sure to include green leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits in children's diet.
  • Milk, curd, cheese - Calcium from milk, curd and cheese is very important for the strength and development of teeth and bones.
  • Nuts - When children feel hungry between meals and they feel like eating something light, then instead of giving them chips or chocolate, give them mixed nuts and nuts. It not only helps in their mental development but also regulates their mood [8].

Nutritional Needs In Adolescence

At this age, when physical and mental development is rapid, then the nutritional needs of children are also much higher. Experts say that teenagers need more calories and nutrients than us adults. If the body does not get enough of these nutrients, then many types of nutritional deficiencies can be seen in children, which can later take the form of major diseases. This deficiency in girls can cause problems during their pregnancy.

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