Tips for a balanced diet during adolescence

Following a balanced diet is what ensures that adolescents are in good nutritional status, health, and well-being. In order to meet the conditions for a food to be considered as a balanced, it must have to provide a wide variety of foods in sufficient quantities and adapted to each individual according to sex, body composition or lifestyle. A good health is prepared from the first years of life, which is why it can bring many benefits to dedicate time and resources to food education and to the diet of the youngest.

It is important to keep in mind that the food of children and adolescents should not be different from that of adults, they should eat of all groups and all types of food ensuring that different cooking and recipes or preparations. Teens should help with the cooking tasks, helping with some preparations and even if they dare, let them prepare some recipes. Enjoying the food starts at the market and ends at the table.

You may also like to read: Protein-rich foods on a natural diet

In adolescence, needs must be adjusted according to the stage of growth in which the child is, since at this stage there are significant changes in body composition, bone and muscle structure and character differentiation Sexual In boys significantly increases muscle mass instead, girls develop more mass fat .

 balanced diet

FAO / WHO defines the specific energy needs according to the sex of adolescents at this stage:

Age  Boys.Kcal / day Girls Kcal / day
10-11 2.140 1.910
11-12 2.240 1.980
12-13 2.310 2,050
13-14 2.440 2.120
14-15 2,590 2.160
15-16 2,700 2.140
16-17 2,800 2.130
17-18 2.870 2.140

Source: FAO / WHO. Energy and protein needs. Series Technical Reports 724. WHO, Geneva 1985.

 balanced diet

Apart from energy, special attention should be given to the main nutrients with a building function:

Proteins, the amounts listed in the attached table are recommended and should be high quality.

Age Boys .g / kg weight / day Girls g / kg weight / day
5-122 1.35 1.35
12-14 1.30 1.20
14-16 1.20 1.10
16-18 and over 1.00 1.00

Source: FAO / WHO. Energy and protein needs. Series Technical Reports 724. WHO, Geneva 1985.

 balanced diet

We will find high-quality proteins in:

  • Egg
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Milk and derivatives
  • Vegetables
  • Textured vegetable protein

Calcium, basic for the construction of bony structures.

Age  Guys. Day Girls day
9-18 1,300 mg 1,300 mg

We will find calcium in:

  • Dairy products
  • Soft-bone fish (canned sardines)
  • Broccoli, kale or cabbage cabbage
  • Enriched breakfast cereals
  • Enriched vegetable drinks

Phosphorus, along with Calcium is basic for the construction of bone and dental structures and in the construction of cell membranes

Age  Guys. Day Girls day
9-18 1,250 mg 1,300 mg

 balanced diet

We will find a match in:

  • Dairy products
  • Soft-bone fish (canned sardines)
  • Enriched breakfast cereals
  • Nuts

In another post has already been detailed but we will make a reminder of some aspects related to adolescents and the environment of the food act because they can have a strong impact on their well-being:

  • The family should favor that the moment of the meal is to share good moments, explain the day in school or even develop the imagination with new recipes or food.
  • That the group of friends has healthy practices will be key to developing good habits. Avoiding industrial bakery, high-fat snacks or skipping meals would be risk factors for bad practices.
  • The promotion in the school to ensure that the dining menu is varied and balanced, there is a supply of healthy products in the self-service machines or cafeterias and lastly, promote the Mediterranean diet through talks or information for students.
  • The practice of sports to ensure a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes a day of physical activity, will bring great results to the state of health and physical condition of the adolescent. Team sports will also promote their development as it will allow them to learn values that are very positive for adult life:
  1. Discipline
  2. Learn rules and follow them
  3. Fellowship and Teamwork
  4. Leadership
  5. Solidarity
  6. Tolerance to frustration

Adding that adolescence is usually a stage of rebellion and sometimes food is used to manifest disagreements or dissatisfactions, adolescents should not be forced to eat, provided there is no disease that requires it, but neither should be accepted That the boys and girls follow diets monotonous and with little variety. The least accepted foods should be introduced in the usual way so that they become familiar with the strong flavors or specific textures, that accept it may be a matter of time provided there is no problem of allergy or intolerance. A clear example of this is coffee.

In this post, we have reviewed the most representative aspects of feeding in the stage of adolescence. Do you want to learn more about dieting at different stages of life or food and its properties? Do you dare to start in the exciting world of food and nutrition?


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