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Diet chart for teenagers

What should be the balance diet chart for an Indian child of 12 years?
(October 26, 2010)

Diet Chart For Teenagers

Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are found among many teenagers today. These disorders are usually the result of peer pressure and low self esteem. In an attempt to appear slim, teenagers tend avoid eating or vomit after every meal. On the other hand, some teenagers begin to consume a lot of junk food, aerated drinks, etc. It is important for parents to realize that when their teenager’s diet plans are poor, it can lead to serious health conditions like hypertension, nerve damage, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, poor mental functions, cardiac arrest, kidney disease, etc. 

While it is often difficult to eliminate junk food from your teenager’s diet, you could prepare dishes that would give similar tastes but have healthier preparations. Fizzy drinks and junk food like French fries, potato wafers, and pizzas produce empty calories.

You should introduce your teenager to diet soda instead of normal colas; however, an ideal substitute would be unsweetened fruit juices. Try offering your teenager baked wedges or pretzels with mustard instead of fries. Similarly, you could try to stir fry or sauté the food instead of deep frying it. This will retain the taste according to your teenager’s preferences and also contribute to a lesser calorie intake. It would be beneficial for you to maintain a teenager calorie chart; this will help you determine what foods would best suit your teenager depending to his or her age. On an average, as per most teenage calorie charts, girls between the ages of 11-14 years should consume a maximum of 2000 calories per day and girls between 15-18 years require a maximum of 2200 calories per day. For boys, the calorie intake is marginally higher. Boys between 11-14 years require a maximum of 2500 calories per day, whereas 15-18 year old teenage boys require around 3000 calories per day.

Starchy carbohydrates also provide your teenage children with considerable energy for a long period of time. You could try introducing into your teenager’s diet plan starchy foods like pitas, bagels, bread rolls, wraps, ciabatta, and baguettes instead of normal bread, as teenagers are more inclined to consume food that has variety. Some fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and cheese could also be added to your teenager’s diet plan. Many prefer introducing foods like cheddar cheese and apple slices; or brie and cranberry jam/sauce; cottage cheese and apricots; mozzarella with grilled peppers; chicken or turkey cooked with some mustard, lettuce, and tomato; and tuna with cucumber, green pepper, tomato, and sweet corn. It is also advisable to introduce a lot of fruit into your teenager’s diet. You could make a fruit pizza by applying non-fatty cream cheese on a toasted muffin. Top the muffin with grapes, sliced strawberries, etc.

It is important to realize that your child’s diet chart will largely need to be customized according to their age. While toddler nutrition essentially involves adequate intake of grains, milk, fruits, vegetables, meat, and beans. The amount of this intake in your kids diet chart will change as he or she grows from a toddler to a teenager.  

Submitted by C N on October 26, 2010 at 02:07


Children who are 12 years old have a high requirement of nutrients, though; a low appetite may cause nutritional deficiencies due to lower food intake. Increase in risk of obesity and decrease in activity pattern results in associated complications. Deficiency of certain nutrients, such as calcium, folate, and iron and so on are common. Childhood obesity is very common due to sedentary activity. Choice of right kind of foods helps to overcome this situation. Ensure physical activity as a part of the child's every day schedule. Outdoor games, such as tennis, basketball, cycling, and football and so on prove beneficial. Walking the dog or a brisk walk, twice a day is helpful. Household chores, such as scrubbing or dusting is also effective in keeping oneself trim.

The five food groups are of great importance, while deciding the meals. The apex which comprises of fats and sugar is limited. Calcium is necessary for the development and growth of teeth and bones. Good sources of calcium are green leafy vegetables, milk, yoghurt, cheese, tofu, sesame seeds. Semi skimmed milk is also an effective source of calcium. Iron deficiency in children is overcome by the supply of iron rich foods, such as egg yolk, red meat, corned beef, pulses, beans, fortified cereals and liver. These foods help to avoid certain conditions, such as anaemia.

Vitamin C rich foods, such as citrus fruits, green leaves and tomatoes, aid in the absorption of iron rich foods. Folate is present in pulses, green leaves and fortified breads. Skipping breakfast, a common problem associated with school children results in folate deficiency. Include junk foods, such as pizzas, burgers, potato wedges and chips, in an occasional manner. Refined foods, such as biscuits, pastries, sugar and crisps are eaten rarely. Carbonated beverages contribute to empty calories, devoid of nutrients. Fresh fruit juice is a better alternative.

A three meal pattern with two snacks is effective. Commence the day with a glass of milk and breakfast. A light snack such as fruit salad or a fruit for the snack helps. Lunch should comprise of a cereal and pulse combination, such as wheat tortillas (wheat tortilla) and lentil soup (lentil soup), khichdi or pongal (rice and lentil soup pressure cooked), rice pulse pancakes (pan cake) and so on. A vegetable is vital as a part of the lunch session. A light snack with milk is good in the evening. Dinner is the same as lunch with skimmed yoghurt and vegetable. Milk at bed time helps in better sleep and provides the necessary nutrients.

Submitted by M S on August 14, 2008 at 08:04


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