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Teenager Diet: Best Healthy Dinner Ideas for Teens

A healthy dinner is most important to ensure teenager diet properly.

Healthy dinner ideas for teens can ensure the proper nutritional requirement of your teens. A healthy dinner is much important for teenagers though we all need a healthy dinner. 

At this stage, teens grow up rapidly. Physical and mental changes occur at that time. To keep the balance with the changes they need a properly balanced diet. 

As Teenagers belong to the developmental stage, they need extra care. They need enough nutritious foods to keep their physical and mental development uninterrupted.

As their physical and mental changes are in rapid process they need extra nutrition to fuel and energize these physical changes.

A balanced healthy diet is essential for teenagers because of their nutritional needs. The diets that they follow as teenagers have a vital role in their adulthood.

Importance of Dinner at Teenager diet

We already know how dinner is important for us at every stage of life. Dinner plays a vital role to keep our body free from various health issues. 

We get the opportunity to have our dinner with our family. We can pay our attention to dinner menus. We have the opportunity to ensure a healthy dinner for our family.

Moreover, when the question of the importance of dinner comes for teens; we should know; three meals with some snacks help teens to meet their nutrition needs. 

Skipping any of the meals means he or she will miss out on proper vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates which can be the cause of lacking energy and concentration.[1]

So, if your teenage boy or girl is thinking to skip his or her dinner he is going towards a deficit of nutrition.

Dinner ideas for teens are also important as these help us to provide proper nutrition to our teens at dinner time.

It is a bit difficult to ensure their nutrition at other meal times in our busy days we need to ensure the proper diet at dinner time according to their age requirement.

So, we need to have a clear conception of teens’ nutritional requirements with their diet. 

Required Nutrition for Teens

Consumption of proper and adequate nutrition helps your teens to have a healthy body. While you have ideas about the proper nutrition you can prepare your teens’ healthy dinner.

 Here are some ideas and required food groups for your teenage child to make sure the stage of his or her adolescence healthier.

1. Calories 

A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, calories refer to energy and people get it from the food and drink they consume, and they use the energy in physical activity. As teenagers’ bodies grow rapidly they need to consume more calories. 

According to Healthy Children.org, adolescents need more calories each day than at any other stage in their lives. Teenage boys need to consume 2800 calories each day and girls need 2200 calories each day.[2]

If anyone eats more calories than he needs, the body turns the extra calories into fat. Too much fat can lead to being overweight and other health issues.[3]

So, first of all, you have to serve a healthy balanced diet that matches your teen’s energy needs. “Your child’s level of physical activity and stage of development determine exactly how much healthy food he or she needs”.[4]

Our teenagers need a wide variety of fresh food from the food groups. Here is the list of the groups.

2. Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrate is the essential food ingredient at dinner for our teens. Bread, pasta, rice, corn, etc are the source of carbohydrates. 

There are two types of carbohydrates- simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugar. Fiber and starch are complex carbs. 

Complex carbohydrates are key to long-term health. They help to maintain your teen’s weight. Carbohydrates also help to guard against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems in the future.[5]

So, carbohydrate is the essential food elements that should be present on your teen’s dinner plate. Nutritionists recommend that complex carbs make up 50% to 60% of teens’ calorie intake.[6]

3. Protein 

Protein is important for your teen’s growth and muscle development. Meat, chicken, fish, beans are a good source of protein.

Taking of low quantity of protein when your teens are going through puberty can lead to delayed and stunted height and weight.[7]

So, adding fish, meat, eggs at your teen’s dinner time is a must. You must ensure the required quantity and also the source of the protein for your teen at dinner time.

Moreover, oily fish provides omega-3 fatty acids that are important for your teen’s brain development and learning.

4. Iron

Iron is another important food element for your teens. Iron makes red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body. 

Teenage girls are particularly at risk of developing iron deficiency as their menstruation begins. It is important to store adequate iron as menstruation becomes more regular and heavier.[8]

The best source of iron is animal-based foods, especially red meat and offal. Chicken, fish, turkey is also the source of iron.[9]

Hope you will think further before cutting off iron from your teenager’s dinner plate.

5. Dairy Products

Your teen can fulfill the need of calcium from their dairy products. In puberty, calcium helps to reach peak bone mass and builds strong bones.

Milk, cheese, and yogurt are great sources of calcium. 

Try to serve him milk or a dish made with cheese for your teen’s dinner. If he does not like dairy products you can fulfill the needs of calcium by serving him tofu, broccoli, nuts, seeds, salmon, and calcium-fortified foods to fill the deficit of calcium.

6. Fruit and Vegetables 

Your teens get energy, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water from vegetables and fruits that protect your child from all kinds of diseases. These are also important for their eyes and skin. 

It is recommended to eat two servings of vegetables a day. So there is no space for you to cut off vegetables and fruit from your teen’s dinner menu.

7. Fat 

Fat supplies energy. Consuming a lot of fat is not good for your teenagers. Excess fat may cause of heavyweight of your teen. 

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for your teens. You can find which foods are considered as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats in “Dinner Ideas for Kids”.

You need to ensure the availability of the suggested nutrients and foods in your teens’ dinner menu. 

You can feel relax about his nutritional requirement serving him these foods if you do not find more time to pay attention to his other meals. 

8. Vegetarian Dinner Ideas

The above-discussed foods are sufficient for your teens if he is following a non-vegetarian diet. The vegetarian diet and non-vegetarian diet are not the same.

You need to follow a diet for vegetarians. You can find many foods with which you can meet the nutritional requirement for him.  

There is a wrong conception that a vegetarian diet cannot provide all the basic needs of nutrition. If you are careful enough you can provide a balanced diet at dinner with vegetarian foods.

When meat and animal products are avoided, you need to take extra care to ensure protein, vitamins, iron, and other minerals that are needed for your teens.[10]

Pulses, bean curd, soy protein, nuts, milk, cheese are the source to fulfill the needs of protein.Leafy green vegetables, pulses, dried apricots are essential to serve them enough iron.

Important Tips to Ensure Teen’s Healthy Dinner

Here are some tips that you need to follow to ensure your teen’s healthy dinner:

  • You will find the better result with these food elements that are suggested above to serve if you boil or bake the foods while you are cooking dinner for your teens.
  • Decrease the use of butter and heavy gravies.
  • Encourage your teens to drink fresh water. Encourage them to avoid drinks that are high in sugar.
  • Encourage them to eat whole fruit as fruit juice has a lot of calories.
  • Encourage them not to avoid three meals. There is no option to skip dinner filling the stomach with junk food.

Try to follow the tips to get better results of nutritious foods. Serving healthy foods is not the only way to make him healthy. You need to help him to enjoy the food.

Family Dinner Time and Its Importance

Family dinner is crucial for your teen’s mental and social development. Every parent needs to spend quality time with their teenagers. As we all are passing busy days and meeting our commitments, dinner is the only time when we can spend time with our kids. 

Dinner time is not only important to have a healthy meal, it allows us to interact with our children. It is the only time when we get the opportunity to know our children’s views and thinking. 

They get a good opportunity to know many things from us which help them later in life. You can find the benefit of family dinner in ‘Dinner Ideas for Kids’.

 Following these ideas, you can be the idol of your kids to have a healthy dinner that will also work in their adulthood to lead a healthy life.

Conclusion

Dinner ideas for teens can help you to prepare a healthy diet for your teens to build their healthy life. If you are not aware adequately how you can help your children providing a healthy dinner which is vital for them at this stage; you can get benefit from these ideas.

Having a healthy Teenager diet, teens can build themselves healthy both mentally and physically. It is wise to always remember that we all need to nourish our physical and mental health as both are correlated with each other.

References:

  1. https://thewomens.org.au
  2. https://livestrong.com
  3. http://kidshealth.org
  4. http://raisingchildren.net.au
  5. https://healthline.com
  6. https://healthychildren.org
  7. https://www.thewomens.org
  8. https://nidirect.gov.uk
  9. http://healthdirect.gov.au
  10. http://www.nidirect.gov.uk