These days, due to peer pressure and the influence of glamour world, teenagers aspire to be in a skinny frame and in order to achieve that instantly, teenagers go with practices like surviving on carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, smoking and eating meager food.

“Trying to stay thin can take you away from eating a wholesome diet, and lead to bad skin, dull looking hair and unhealthy nails”.

Helpful Hints to Plan a Diet for Teenagers:

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Never forget that.

This should be the main meal while planning diet for teenagers. Breakfast kick starts your body after eight hours of sleep when energy was being slowly used up. This is the longest time your body will have gone without eating, so you need to fill up the supply of energy to get you through the day. About one quarter of your body needs is found in breakfast, and that’s a substantial amount to skip out on. It has been scientifically proven that your concentration levels are much lower if you don’t eat breakfast, and it may also lead to you snacking on unhealthy food throughout the day - so leading to you becoming overweight.

Fitness and Exercise Regimes

These may be fast disappearing in a teenager’s life due to the lack of physical activity opportunities in schools, as well as the type of exercise on offer not always being appropriate or enjoyed by teenagers. What to do then? Walk everywhere, ride your bike, go running with a friend in a park nearby, go to the local sports, go swimming, there are local pools in most areas, start up a team yourself with local friends i.e. football or basketball, or even a running group.

Healthy optimum foods which should appear in diet for teenagers:

• Fresh fruit and vegetables (between five and ten per day)

• Whole meal bread – Not white bread as it contains very few nutrients

• Salads to include; lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, radish, beetroot, onion, nuts

• Nuts unless of course you are allergic

• Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, dried berries

• Fish – salmon, sardines, mackerel

• Rice

• Whole-wheat pasta

• Six to eight glasses of water

Unhealthy foods which should not appear in diet for teenagers:

• Any fast food – bought at a fast food outlet

• Fizzy drinks of any kind – bought from shops or machines

• Crisps and savory snacks in packets

• Processed foods such as microwave dinners

• Sweets, chocolate, ice-cream

• Cakes and biscuits

Right now you may be thinking that you can’t live without a packet of crisps on the way home from school or that favorite fizzy drink, but unfortunately it really is up to YOU to decide! Only you can make those changes to your diet and your energy levels. If you are serious about being healthy, then think about your nutritional intakes and your fitness levels every day. Try not to be ‘faddy’ about being healthy, just do your best, be gradual and eventually it will become second nature!