During the developing years of a teenager, his or her body requires a higher percentage of nutrition and healthy foods. As the human body is going through a rapid transition and develops various physical changes, the body naturally requires a balanced diet. Hence, growing teen years are the most essential and prime years of a child’s life since growth in height, muscle building and various other physical changes are quite natural to appear.

While consuming foods during the period of puberty or teen years, one must intake a certain percentage of the following nutrients in one’s diet:

  • Iron: Foods that are extremely rich in iron are white beans, chicken liver, spinach, dark chocolate, tofu cheese, peanuts, almonds, cashews, lamb.
  • Vitamin D: Foods that are extremely rich in vitamin D are liver oil, trout, mushrooms, whole grain cereals, caviar, pork.
  • Vitamin E: Foods that are extremely rich in vitamin E are sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, avocados, shrimp, olive oil, rainbow trout, kiwi fruit.
  • Calcium: Foods that are extremely rich in calcium are low fat yoghurt, green vegetables, Chinese cabbage, tofu, okra, almonds, broccoli, canned fish like sardines, green snap beans.
  • Protein: Foods that are extremely rich in protein are tuna and salmon fish, non-fat mozzarella, pork chops, veal, yoghurt, milk, egg whites, soy beans.

While intaking a healthy diet, one must also try to say no to the foods that are unnecessary or junk. Hence, it is always a brilliant idea to keep away from excessive sugars and salt in your meals.

How can you eat healthier and smarter?

  • Reduce the consumption of sugar based energy drinks. However, you can go for the sugar free ones instead!
  • Instead of buying junk food from a grocery store, you can pick up a few delicious and fresh fruits. Stack them up in you refrigerator and consume them whenever you feel hungry, instead of stuffing your mouth with Cheetos!
  • Do not skip breakfast, ever.
  • It is always better to reduce the intake of sodium in your diet, which basically means cutting off salt from your meals.
  • Say no to fast food burger joints or pizza places. Junk food is bad fuel to the human metabolism, which makes you sluggish and chubbier.

Kids, eating healthy does not mean you slack off on you favorite meals. Hence, what you can do is be smart about it by hacking a healthier way around a junk food. You are craving a nice chicken wing? No problemo! Deep fry the wing in low cholesterol oil and match it up with some fresh green vegetables. And voila! You are already making the effort.

By Carolina Martinez. Certified Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition