Puber­ty entails a seri­ous change in the body of a teenag­er at all lev­els. And an impor­tant role in these changes is played by the diet of a teenag­er.

The diet of a teenag­er should ful­ly pro­vide his body with all the nec­es­sary sub­stances and a suf­fi­cient amount of ener­gy. A long-term short­age or excess of one of the com­po­nents of food is espe­cial­ly crit­i­cal at this age, since there is an active for­ma­tion and growth of a young organ­ism. And the prob­lems that arose as a result of a vio­la­tion of the nature of nutri­tion in ado­les­cence will inevitably leave their mark in lat­er adult­hood.

Basic rules for a teenager’s diet

A teenag­er should nev­er feel hun­gry.

This rule most­ly applies to girls. It must be borne in mind that even though a teenag­er is over­weight dur­ing the tran­si­tion peri­od, he should not go on any diet that lim­its the amount of food, and he may feel hun­gry. A grow­ing organ­ism simul­ta­ne­ous­ly needs ener­gy and micro- and macroele­ments, vit­a­mins and oth­er min­er­als, there­fore, any quan­ti­ta­tive restric­tion of food can lead to a lack of these sub­stances, and hence to a delay in the growth and devel­op­ment of the organ­ism.

It is nec­es­sary to lim­it the con­sump­tion of foods with a high glycemic index in favor of foods with a low GI

As you know, it is the con­sump­tion of large quan­ti­ties of hyper­glycemic foods, along with sat­u­rat­ed and trans fats, that is a direct road to obe­si­ty and relat­ed dis­eases. You need to under­stand that foods with a high GI val­ue are poor in vit­a­mins and min­er­als need­ed by a grow­ing body, and con­tain only “emp­ty” calo­ries in their com­po­si­tion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, these prod­ucts are active­ly pro­mot­ed by adver­tis­ing and tele­vi­sion and are dear­ly loved by teenagers.

In turn, foods with low glycemic index val­ues ​​​​do not cause a sharp jump in blood glu­cose, which means they do not pro­voke insulin pro­duc­tion and sub­se­quent fat mass gain. Eat­ing foods with a low GI allows you not only to replen­ish ener­gy reserves, but pro­vides a long-term feel­ing of full­ness and the child does not have a desire to have a snack after a short peri­od of time after he got up from the table. In addi­tion, low GI foods are usu­al­ly rich in fiber, vit­a­mins, macro- and microele­ments, which sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduces the like­li­hood of their defi­cien­cy in the body.

For­bid­den foods (high GI foods): sug­ar and sug­ar prod­ucts (white choco­late, sweets, bars, sug­ary drinks), refined white flour prod­ucts (con­fec­tionery, fast food buns, white bread, muffins, pas­ta), pota­toes ( espe­cial­ly fries, fried pota­toes, chips), peeled rice, corn (espe­cial­ly pop­corn and canned).

Pro­teins: lean red meat, organ meats, chick­en, legumes, mush­rooms and seafood

The list­ed prod­ucts are one of the main sources of pro­tein and oth­er use­ful ele­ments, in par­tic­u­lar iron. In par­tic­u­lar, girls in their teens often expe­ri­ence a lack of this trace ele­ment, which is why the pres­ence of any (espe­cial­ly red meat and offal) of the list­ed prod­ucts in the dai­ly diet is so impor­tant.
Sep­a­rate­ly, let’s talk about milk and dairy prod­ucts. Despite the entrenched opin­ion about the ben­e­fits of these prod­ucts, we rec­om­mend lim­it­ing the use of dairy prod­ucts in the diet of a teenag­er to three serv­ings dur­ing the day. Recent stud­ies clear­ly indi­cate that exces­sive con­sump­tion of milk increas­es the risk of devel­op­ing hyper­in­sulin­ism and the fur­ther threat of obe­si­ty. Also note that the pro­teins and fats that make up cow’s milk are not opti­mal for the human body.

Fats are an essen­tial com­po­nent in a teenager’s diet.proper nutrition for teenagers

Foods such as nuts, avo­ca­dos, lin­seed oil, oily fish (marine species) are an excel­lent source of healthy unsat­u­rat­ed fats, with­out which puber­ty and nor­mal hor­mone pro­duc­tion are impos­si­ble.

Eat lots of veg­eta­bles, fruits

These prod­ucts are the main source of fiber, vit­a­mins, micro and macro ele­ments for a grow­ing organ­ism. Ide­al­ly, each meal should con­tain some amount of veg­eta­bles or fruits.

Min­i­mize con­sump­tion of refined foods

These include all prod­ucts that have under­gone indus­tri­al pro­cess­ing and con­tain large quan­ti­ties of sat­u­rat­ed fat­ty acids, trans fats and car­bo­hy­drates with a high GI. Such prod­ucts are poor in nutri­ents and con­tribute to the devel­op­ment of obe­si­ty and oth­er dis­eases.

Drink plen­ty of water

You need to replen­ish water reserves in the body with the help of plain or min­er­al water, as well as nat­ur­al juices and herbal teas. Sweet drinks, strong tea and cof­fee are not suit­able for this pur­pose.


A teenag­er, in fact, is still a child, and there­fore it is dif­fi­cult for him to explain why he needs to lim­it his con­sump­tion of sweets, but for this case there are accept­able sub­sti­tutes: dark choco­late and any fruit.


A fair­ly hearty break­fast, includ­ing car­bo­hy­drates, is required. Din­ner must be late. At least 4 full meals per day. Snack­ing or eat­ing in a hur­ry should be avoid­ed.

Phys­i­cal activ­i­ty

This item is not direct­ly relat­ed to the nutri­tion of a teenag­er, but in com­bi­na­tion with nutri­tion, phys­i­cal exer­cise con­tributes to the nor­mal­iza­tion of weight, and also stim­u­lates the growth and devel­op­ment of the body. Any reg­u­lar phys­i­cal activ­i­ty is suit­able as exer­cise. Run­ning, swim­ming, danc­ing, or just walk­ing for at least half an hour a day are great.

Teen nutri­tion. Part 1

Nutri­tion­al needs of ado­les­cents. Part 2

Author: Alexan­der Kuznetsov

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By Yara