A Balanced Diet for Your Teen

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Young adults often prefer to eat junk food and sugary snacks. As a parent, you must help your teen to make better food choices. Here are some ideas to help:


Protein is essential for the growth and development of your teen. Protein helps in repairing, building and maintaining the body tissues. Examples of foods that are rich in protein are beans, legumes, soy, quinoa, meats, fish, cheese, eggs, yogurt, wheat germ, peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, shellfish, tofu, kidney beans etc.


This supplies energy to the body and this makes it an ideal source of energy for your teen. Some simple carbohydrates include fruits, milk, milk products, vegetables etc., while those of complex carbohydrate are starchy vegetables, cereals, legumes and whole grain food items.

Counting Calories

 Calorie intake usually depends on how active your teen is. An average teenager who is really not active can consume meals with 2000 calories (male) and 1600 calories (female). An active teenager should eat 2800 calories (male) and 2200 calories (female). Do not encourage your children to count the calories themselves. You should make sure that your teen gets enough food each day on your own.


 Iron supplies oxygen to the muscles. It also helps the brain to function properly, and develops the immune system for fighting diseases. Teenage girls require more iron than the boys do.

Some iron-enriched foods are green leafy vegetables, whole grain, meat and nuts.


 It is known to strengthen the bones and the teeth in the body, while the deficiency of calcium can cause osteoporosis in later stages of life.

Some calcium-enriched foods are dairy products, cereals, leafy vegetables.

Vitamins and Minerals

They increase your teen’s immune system and protect them from varieties of health conditions, such as anemia, night blindness, weakness etc.

Some excellent sources of vitamins and minerals include milk, cheese, liver, yogurt, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, papaya, and mangoes. Some other good sources are strawberries, guava, spinach, tuna, orange, egg yolks, salmon etc.