Teens have special nutritional needs. Rapid physical growth adds height and body strength. A natural growth in appetite comes along with these changes. The teen years are a great time to make food choices that set the habits for a lifetime.
Help your teen make good food choices by eating healthy yourself. Try to eat meals together whenever possible. Buy nutritious foods for times when teens must snack or eat alone and encourage normal three-meal-a-day eating patterns.
The Food Guide Pyramid is an outline to follow. It recommends the number of servings to eat daily for five food groups dairy, vegetable, fruit, meat and bread. Fats, oils and sweets should be eaten sparingly.
Just like with healthy eating, you can be a positive role model for your teen by regularlyexercising. Staying fit can help improve your child’s self-esteem and decrease the risk of serious illnesses, such as heart disease and stoke, later in life. Teens should exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes at a time.
Developmentally, teens can get the hang of almost any activity they enjoy. Non-competitive activities offer the same physical benefits and self-esteem boosters that competitive sports do. Activities like skateboarding, in-line skating, bicycling and dancing are great activities. Make sure that your teen uses all necessary safety gear and doesn’t overdo it.