The Proper Nutrition

A child in its adolescent years are very important to get the proper nutrition. As a child starts to go through puberty their appetite grows. As these cravings start to occur they need to understand what to eat and what not to eat. The right nutrition is key to reach their full growth. Boys require on average 2,800 calories a day and girls need about 2,000. During this time of their life it is very important to get all of those calories daily.

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy. “Carbohydrates, found in starches and sugars, get converted into the body’s main fuel: the simple sugar glucose. Not all carbs are created equal, however. In planning meals, we want to push complex-carbohydrate foods and go easy on simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs provide sustained energy; that’s why you often see marathon runners and other athletes downing big bowls of pasta before competing. As a bonus, many starches deliver fiber and assorted nutrients too”

It is very important to get enough carbohydrates in a day. Although there is a huge difference between simple (bad) and complex (good). “Simple carbohydrates are composed of simple-to-digest, basic sugars with little real value for your body. The higher in sugar and lower in fiber, the worse the carbohydrate is for you. Fruits and vegetables are actually simple carbohydrates — still composed of basic sugars, although they are drastically different from other foods in the category, like cookies and cakes. The fiber in fruits and vegetables changes the way that the body processes their sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more like complex carbohydrates.”

Fat should make up no more than 30% of the diet. Fat supplies energy and assists the body in absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K. But these benefits must be considered next to its many adverse effects on health. A teenager who indulges in a fat-heavy diet is going to put on weight, even if he’s active. It would take a workout befitting an Olympic athlete to burn off excess fat calories day after day.

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Fatty foods contain cholesterol, a waxy substance that can clog an artery and eventually cause it to harden. The danger of atherosclerosis is that the blockage will affect one of the blood vessels leading to the heart or the brain, setting off a heart attack or a stroke. Although these life-threatening events usually don’t strike until later in adult life, the time to start practicing prevention is now, by reducing the amount of fat in your family’s diet.

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There are three types of fats Monounsaturated which is the healthiest kind; found in olives and olive oil; peanuts, peanut oil and peanut butter; cashews; walnuts and walnut oil, and canola oil. Polyunsaturated is found in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and sesame-seed oil, and saturated fat is the most cholesterol laden of the three; found in meat and dairy products like beef, pork, lamb, butter, cheese, cream, egg yolks, coconut oil, and palm oil.

Between 2001 and 2010, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among children and adolescents decreased, but still accounts for 10% of total caloric intake.

Between 2003 and 2010, total fruit intake and whole fruit intake among children and adolescents increased. However, most youth still do not meet fruit and vegetable recommendations.

Empty calories from added sugars and solid fats contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and adolescents age 2–18 years — affecting the overall quality of their diets. Approximately half of these empty calories come from six sources: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk. Most youth do not consume the recommended amount of total water.

A well-rounded diet based on the USDA guidelines should deliver sufficient amounts of all the essential vitamins and minerals. Adolescents tend to most often fall short of their daily quotas of calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin D. Unless blood tests and a pediatrician’s evaluation reveal a specific deficiency, it’s preferable to obtain nutrients from food instead of from dietary supplements.

Nutrition is a skill that needs to be taught at a young age. Healthy eating habits need to be started for a kid to grow up healthy and stay healthy. As poor eating habits start to occur it is very difficult to break out of those habits. Children’s parents may be having poor eating habits so those traits are passed on to their children. When kids learn the importance of good nutrition they can make life changes for them and their parents. “Students considered lifestyle factors, such as activity and eating habits, to have more influence on a person’s disease risk than physiological factors such as age or gender. However, when discussing low-fat food choices, these students were only willing to eat low-fat school lunch if the food tasted as good as the high-fat version or if they weren’t told it was low-fat. The possibility of acquiring a chronic disease, which they don’t yet fully understand, is hardly a match for a good-tasting food.