Adolescent Nutrition

Adolescence is the second-fastest growth stage in life after infancy. An adolescent’s growth spurt creates an increased need for many nutrients. Eating right assures that an adolescent will get adequate amounts of key nutrients: calcium, iron and Vitamins A, C and D. 

Some teens have a need for even more nutrients if they are active in sports, dieting, have an eating disorder or are pregnant.

  • Parents and caregivers should set a good example in food choices and exercise.
  • Make available healthy foods, snacks and fluids, such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, water and sugar-free drinks.
  • Make time for family meals.
  • Avoid more than two hours a day of TV, computer use and video games.
  • Encourage your teen to participate in meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking.

Eating Out

Teens make food choices based upon hunger, appeal for food, time and convenience. Encourage healthy choices when eating out. Visit websites that offer nutrition facts and eating-out recommendations.

Dieting is a common concern during adolescent years. Diet trends can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as restricting intake, skipping meals, taking diet pills or purging after a meal. Contact your child’s healthcare provider if you have concerns about these or other eating behaviors.


Last Updated 12/2012