The nutritional needs of children aged 10 and older are significantly different from those of toddlers, but when designing their diet, it is important to remember that they are still not adults.
We come across a lot of advice on healthy eating for young children, but as they get older, it becomes harder and harder to fight their addiction to junk food! How to deal with this? It will be helpful for you to know the basic principles for planning a proper diet that will meet all their needs as they grow and their body structure changes.
Nutrient intakes for boys over 10 and adolescents
The nutritional value per 100 grams of a food product indicated on the package usually allows you to roughly estimate how much of a particular product you should consume per day… But this can only be done if you know the recommended intake rates, and they differ for each age group.
It should be borne in mind that the above norms indicate values only for basic substances, but the diet of adolescents often lacks vitamins, trace elements, and some important fatty acids. But controlling the amount of sugar and salt they consume at their age is often not as important as the amount of fat they take in, regardless of the type of fat they eat.
The fact is that you know your child better than anyone else, and you can easily understand whether they are overweight or underweight, but unfortunately, you cannot see by eye whether they have enough vitamins or minerals.
A healthy diet for a teenager
An outside observer can easily notice that a teenager’s body goes through major changes in just a few years. Bone growth, muscle development, hormonal shifts – if you take all this into account, it becomes clear that proper nutrition is extremely important during this period of his life.
Red meat and breakfast cereals will help to make up for their deficiency, but do not forget to include foods containing vitamin C (for example, a glass of fruit juice) in such a menu for better absorption of iron by the body.
Many teenagers give up the milk they loved so much as children, but their bodies continue to grow, and bone strength still depends on regular intake of calcium (along with vitamin D and phosphorus). Lack of calcium won’t necessarily affect their health immediately, but it can cause bone fragility in their adult years. If your son has fallen out of love with milk, try to get him interested in other dairy products, such as cheese, milkshakes, or yogurt. Fish, such as sardines, is also a good source of calcium, but not all teenage boys will like it.
Food that gives you strength
Many of us have memories of our teenage brothers coming home from school and eating three plates of cereal before dinner. Teenagers need a lot of “fuel” to maintain an active life and constant growth of the body, so try to make sure that your son “refuel” with what he needs, keep a basket full of fruit in the kitchen at all times, talk about the fact that some foods keep you full and stronger than others. Carbohydrates (delicious fresh bread, pasta, and potato dishes) will not only fill him with energy but also satisfy his hunger, while a snack from the nearest kiosk will not satiate him for half an hour.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
During active growth, metabolic processes in the body are important. And they are provided by B vitamins. The highest levels of pyridoxine are found in animal meat, poultry, herring, halibut fish, buckwheat, millet, wholemeal bread, pearl barley, and barley cereals.
How to get boys from the age of ten and teenagers interested in healthy eating
It’s not easy to control a teenager’s diet – food is often in second or even third place after much more important things like social life, so snacking on the go becomes a normal part of life. In addition, the desire for independence that is common to many teenagers makes them shy away from traditional family meals.
Here’s how you can encourage him to follow a balanced diet:
- If your son loves sports, he will soon realize that eating right helps him keep his body in shape.
- Hormones can be the source of many teenage problems, such as acne skin or excessively oily hair, but a balanced diet will at least prevent them from getting worse.
- Remind him that by eating at home, he is saving his pocket money!
Try to keep tasty, quick snack foods in the kitchen and refrigerator at all times so that your son can have a snack on the way to his room or outside, and lure him to the family table more often by preparing his favorite dishes.
Teenage boys usually like to eat well and don’t think much about calories, so use this feature to their advantage. Besides, they love to try new dishes, especially if their friends like them.