Healthy Food For Teenagers Definition
Source : Google.com.pk
Teenagers need to consume a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, and rich in nutrients like calcium and iron. Teenagers can do a lot to improve their diet, eat healthy meals and snacks, and maintain a healthy weight.
Good nutrition is essential for everyone, but it’s especially important for growing teenagers. Unfortunately, many Australian teenagers have an unbalanced diet.
From the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity survey, teenage boys and girls aged 14 to 16 ate only half the recommended serves of fruits and vegetables per day. One in three adolescents buys unhealthy takeaway food every day. If you eat takeaway food regularly, you are more likely to put on weight than if you eat fast food only occasionally.
It may require some effort to change your eating habits, but even a few simple changes will make a huge difference. You’ll feel better and may find managing your weight easier.
Junk food is poor fuel for your body
Many teenagers eat junk food every day. This might be sugar-sweetened drinks like fizzy drinks and high-kilojoule snacks like potato chips. However, your body can’t run properly on poor fuel.
Compared to home-cooked food, junk food (which includes fast food) is almost always:
higher in fat, particularly saturated fat
higher in salt
higher in sugar
lower in fibre
lower in nutrients, such as calcium and iron
served in larger portions, which means more kilojoules.
While a mid-life heart attack might seem too far away to be real, it may surprise you to know that you could have health problems already. A poor diet can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, constipation, fatigue and concentration problems – even when you’re young.
Eating tips to improve your diet
Small changes can make a big impact. Try to:
Cut back on, sugary drinks like soft drinks and energy drinks. Sugar-free versions are okay to drink sometimes, but sugar-free frizzy drinks are still acidic, which can have a negative effect on bone and dental health. Water is the healthiest drink – try adding a slice of lemon, lime or orange for flavour.
Keep a fruit bowl stocked at home for fast and low-kilojoule snacks.
Eat breakfast every day so you’re less likely to snack on junk food at morning tea. A wholemeal or wholegrain breakfast cereal that is low in sugar served with low-fat milk can provide plenty of vitamins, mineral and fibre. Other fast and healthy options include yoghurt or wholemeal toast.
Don’t skip lunch or dinner either.
Help with the cooking and think up new ways to create healthy meals. Make those old family recipes lower in fat by changing the cooking method – for example, grill, stir-fry, bake, boil or microwave, instead of deep frying.
Reduce the size of your meals.
Don’t add salt to your food.
Don’t eat high-fat foods every time you visit a fast food outlet with your friends. Many of the popular fast food chains now have healthier food choices on the menu.
Change your meeting place. Rather than meeting up with your friends at the local takeaway shop, suggest a food outlet that serves healthier foods, such as wholemeal rolls with vegetable fillings or sushi.
Change the way you think about food
There are lots of myths about healthy food. Don’t make food choices based on false beliefs. Suggestions include:
Compare the prices of junk foods against the price of healthier food options to see that ‘healthy’ doesn’t have to mean ‘expensive’.
Experiment with different foods and recipes. You’ll soon discover that a meal cooked with fresh ingredients always beats a limp burger or soggy chips.
Try different ‘fast’ options like whole-wheat breakfast cereal, muesli, wholemeal bread, wholegrain muffins, fruit, yoghurt or pasta.
Don’t think that your diet has to be ‘all or nothing’. Eating well doesn’t mean you must be a health food freak. A good diet allows for treats occasionally.
Change your eating environment
Lobby your school canteen for healthier food choices.
Ask your school canteen to include a range of low-price healthy food choices.
Help with the grocery shopping and choose fewer processed foods.
Get involved in cooking at home.
Where to get help
Dietitians Association of Australia Tel. (02) 6163 5200
Things to remember
A teenager who eats fast food regularly is more likely to put on weight than a teenager who eats fast food only occasionally.
A diet consisting of healthy meals and snacks will boost your intake of nutrients such as calcium, which is required for strong bones.
Eating well doesn’t mean you must be a health food freak – a good diet allows for your favourite junk foods occasionally.
You might also be interested in:
Body image and diets.
Eating disorders - adolescents.
Eating tips for children (1) - babies.
Eating tips for children (2) - young toddlers.
Eating tips for children (3) - older toddlers.
Eating tips for children (4) - preschoolers.
Eating tips for children (5) - primary school.
Food and your life stages.
Food to have sometimes.
Food variety and a healthy diet.
Foods from plants and animals.
Fruit and vegetables.
Healthy eating for kids.
Healthy eating tips.
Weight loss and fad diets.
A healthy diet can help you look and feel great. Don't follow the latest food fad: find out the truth about eating well.
Your body needs energy and nutrients from food to grow and work properly. If you don't eat a healthy, balanced diet, you could be putting your health and growth at risk.
A healthy diet also gives you the energy you need and can help you look and feel great. But eating well doesn't have to mean giving up all your favourite foods. A healthy diet means eating a wide range of foods so that you get all the nutrients you need, and eating the right number of calories for how active you are.
Beware of fad diets: they're rarely the best way to reach a healthy weight. Instead, use our tips to help you eat more healthily.
Don't skip breakfast. Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. But skipping meals doesn't help you lose weight and is not good for you, because you can miss out on essential nutrients. Research shows that eating breakfast can actually help people control their weight. In addition, a healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health. Whole grain cereal with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthy start to the day.
Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables a day. They are good sources of many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. It's not as hard as it might sound: fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced fruit and vegetables all count towards your total. So fruit juice, smoothies and vegetables baked into dishes such as stews all count. Learn more at Why 5 A DAY?
At snack time, swap foods that are high in saturated fat or sugars for healthier choices. Foods high in saturated fat include pies, processed meats such as sausages and bacon, biscuits and crisps. Foods high in added sugars include cakes and pastries, sweets, and chocolate. Both saturated fat and sugar are high in calories, so if you eat these foods often you're more likely to become overweight. Too much saturated fat can also cause high cholesterol. Learn more in Eat less saturated fat.
Make sure you drink enough fluids. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of fluids a day: water, unsweetened fruit juices (diluted with water) and milk are all healthy choices.
If you're feeling tired and run down, you may need more iron in your diet. Teenage girls are at higher risk of being low on iron, because they lose iron when they have their monthly period and they are still growing. Good sources of iron include red meats, breakfast cereals fortified with iron, and baked beans. Learn more in Anaemia, iron deficiency.
If you often feel hungry, try eating more high-fibre foods such as wholemeal bread, beans, wholegrain breakfast cereals, fruit and vegetables. Foods that are high in fibre are bulky and help us to feel full for longer, and most of us should be eating more of them.
If eating makes you feel anxious, guilty, or upset, or you're often worried about food or your weight, you may have an eating disorder. Help is out there: tell an adult you trust. Learn more in Eating disorders explained.
If you are underweight, you may not be eating enough. Restricting foods (or food groups) or not eating a balanced diet can stop you getting enough of the calories and other important nutrients your body needs. This can lead to weight loss. Being underweight can cause health problems, so if you're underweight it's important to gain weight in a healthy way. Your GP can help with this.
If you are overweight, you may be eating too much. Foods high in fat and sugar are high in calories, and eating too many calories can lead to weight gain. Try to eat fewer foods that are high in fat and sugar, such as swapping to low- or no-sugar fizzy drinks. A healthy balanced diet will provide you with all the nutrients your body needs. Your body mass index (BMI) can tell you whether you are a healthy weight – check yours with our BMI healthy weight calculator.
Don't follow fad diets. If you have an overweight BMI, aim to lose weight to bring your BMI into the healthy range. If you want to lose weight, it's important to choose your diet plan carefully. It can be tempting to follow the latest fad diet, but these are often not nutritionally balanced and don't work in the long term: once you stop, the weight is likely to come back. Diets based on only one or two foods may be successful in the short term, but can be dull and hard to stick to and deficient in a range of nutrients. The healthier, long-term way to lose weight is by combining long-term changes towards a healthy, balanced diet with more physical activity. If you're concerned about your weight, your GP can help.
Watch out for "low-carb" diets, or any eating plans that advise you to cut out whole food groups. This can be unhealthy, because you may miss out on nutrients from that food group. Low-carb diets can be high in saturated fat. Eating too much saturated fat can cause high cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease. Other diets may involve cutting out dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. These foods are high in calcium, which you need to ensure your bones grow properly. Choose lower fat dairy foods when you can – semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk contain all the important nutritional benefits of whole milk, with less fat.