The teenage years marks the start of growth spurts and puberty. That time differs for each child. For females, puberty typically starts about the age of 12-13, which is about 2 years younger than boys start. Through the teenage years, the teenager can grow 20% taller and 50% heavier. Some of the changes that the body is going through may affect food choices, body image, and the activity level of your teen, so it is important to observe for any behavioral changes in your teen. Ultimately, when and how much your child grows is dependent on genetics, though proper nutrition can help your child grow to their full potential.
All teens need enough calcium to support bone growth and strength, protein for cells, and carbohydrates and fats for energy. Make sure your teen receives a well-balanced diet from all food groups. This will provide them with all essential vitamins and minerals to support development. Be sure they also receive an adequate intake of water; the recommendation is 64 fl oz (or 8 cups) per day. As your child grows, their energy and nutrient needs increase to meet the growth demands of adolescents. During this time, you should see an increase in your teens appetite. As parents, it is important to be understanding and supportive of your child's growth pattern and how it may differ from their friends.
Duyff, Roberta. Food, Nutrients, and Your Teen. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Feb 2014. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/healthy-aging/food-nutrients-and-your-teen.
Learning about nutrition can benefit both physical and mental health. Education regarding functions of food promotes wise food choices, meal planning, and a healthful overall diet. These habits benefit physical health. In addition, increased knowledge can dispel food fears. Knowing the facts can relieve guilt or worry that one is not eating well. Thus, the diet is enhanced as well as the enjoyment of eating which benefits emotional health.
Research continues to reinforce the importance of sound nutrition to overall health and wellness. Guidance provided will be based on cutting edge, evidence-based research. At Nutritional Guidance, Inc. we serve individuals from infancy into their golden years, assisting them in maximizing their nutrition well-being.
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