The information on this page has been taken from Health for Teens which introduces a new and different way for young people aged 11-19 to learn about their health.
Their website features bite-sized information on a comprehensive range of physical and emotional health topics for teenagers, including healthy eating, body image, managing stress, advice on relationships, puberty, sexuality and much more.
What we eat affects how we feel and how healthy we are now and in the future. Health for Teens provides advice on what we need to put in the get the most out of our body:
- Grab your 5 a day: Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables will help to keep your body healthy and ensure you get plenty of vital vitamins and minerals. Try to eat as many different types of fruit and vegetables, too – there are literally hundreds to choose from, and loads of different way to cook and combine them
Have carbohydrates (a starchy food choice) with every meal: Carbohydrates include bread, rice, pasta, wraps, pitta, chapattis, pancakes, cereals and potatoes. These foods provide your body with energy, so having a starchy choice at each meal will boost your energy levels.
Have 3 portions of lower fat dairy each day: Milk, yoghurt and cheese all count towards your dairy intake. These foods are high in calcium, which is needed to keep your teeth and bones healthy. A portion would be 200ml of milk, 150g of yoghurt or 25g of cheese.
Eat 2 portions of protein-rich food each day: Protein is found in pork, beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish and eggs. Don’t eat some of those meats? Vegetarian? No problem, you can still get all the protein you need from beans, lentils and other ‘pulses’ and from vegetarian options like soya mince or Quorn products. Protein is needed for growth, development and repairing your body – so it’s vital to keep you fit and strong.
Cut down on high fat/sugary foods: These foods do give you energy, but if you have too many then you’re more likely to put on weight. Even if you are a healthy weight, if you have too much fat and sugar you will be putting a strain on your body – even if you can’t see it and don’t feel it.
Eat your breakfast: Eating breakfast is a great way to kick start your day, getting in those important vitamins and minerals, giving you the energy you need and helping boost your concentration. Healthy breakfast ideas include cereals (Weetabix, porridge, Shreddies etc), brown toast, yoghurt with fruit, toasted teacake, fruit bread or crumpets.
Drink 6-8 drinks a day: You need to drink 6-8 drinks a day to keep your body hydrated. If you don’t drink enough, you might find it hard to concentrate, feel tired or get headaches. This should be mostly water – one can be a 150ml of fruit juice (see point 2), but don’t fill up on fruit juice as it’s high in sugar. The same goes for some flavoured waters.
Alongside a healthy diet, it also important to get in enough exercise. More information on exercise please click here.
For more information on nutrition and diet, please visit the Health for Teens website.