- Teenage is the period of growth and development
- It is important for teenagers to consume a balanced diet
- Teenagers should not skip meals
The period of lockdown and schools being shut has resulted in kids getting more free time than ever. Taking care of their diet and lifestyle is important so that they don't end up gaining weight or developing other health problems. Jinal Shah, senior nutritionist with Rujuta Diwekar, says that teenagers should eat more out of the kitchen and less out of packets. In an Instagram post, Shah informs that teenagers should never go on a diet or self-deprivation. They should eat without any gadgets and should avoid using gadgets for 30 minutes before sleeping. Eating of chocolates and ice creams should be avoided after dinner. Most important of all tips is that they should eat for 90 minutes daily and stay physically active.
Healthy tips that are important to be followed by teenagers
Teenage period is indeed the period of growth and development, specially from 13 to 18 years of age. This is the period when they go through hormonal changes, puberty and menstruation to name a few. Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal says that this is a good time to move away from fancy colas and sugary candies. "This is the right time to start working on a dietary regime. However, make sure that you set realistic weight goals and do not cut off food drastically under peer pressure or social media influence," she recommends.
Following are the diet tips Agarwal recommends for teenagers to follow:
1. Eat a balanced diet
Your diet should have a balance of carbs, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. A key is to include high protein food sources with every meal, as protein supports muscle growth and development. Focus on consuming whole grains like whole wheat, millets, rice, oats, and quinoa. Include protein-rich sources like soy, eggs, lean meat, fatty fish, lentils, legumes, and dairy products. Munch on nuts and seeds. Do eat 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables. "Also, make it a point to stay well-hydrated. If you are the parent of a teen, you should consider involving them in the cooking process too because it is an essential life skill that everyone must know," says Agarwal.
2. Do not skip meals
Teenagers must be eating frequently throughout the day. This is because their brain and body are constantly functioning for studies, games and sports. They need a constant supply of energy, which can be obtained through small and frequent meals. "Skipping meals not only disturbs the biological clock of your body, but also leads to unhealthy adult years. Try to listen to your body so that you don't overeat or starve yourself. Apart from regular meals, snack on banana, apple, nutty trail mix, handful of peanuts, lotus seeds, roasted black chana, avocado toast, or fruit yogurt (homemade)," the Delhi-based nutritionist adds.
3. Stay physically active
Agreeing with Shah, Agarwal too feels that physical activity is of utmost importance for teenagers. She says that minimum 60 minutes of activity for 6 days a week is important for teenagers. They should engage in outdoor sports with friends or family. Cycling, jogging, running, dancing or anything that keeps them on the move is important for teenagers.
4. Limit screen time
Screen time should be monitored for teenagers. How much they use their phone and the time they spend watching television can put their body under stress, make them inactive and disturb their sleep. "If you are a parent of a teen, make sure to keep a watch on their screen hours which means no late-night gaming or infinite scrolling. Why not accommodate some digital detox hours in the routine every day and call it a family time where you can sing, play, eat, or chat together minus any gadgets?" she says.
(Jinal Shah is Senior Nutritionist with Rujuta Diwekar)
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.