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Overcome Troublesome Teen Eating Habits

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Teens are often juggling heavy course loads, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities, not to mention blossoming social lives. All of these things can dramatically influence the choices they make when it comes to their daily diet. Teens are often swayed by what their friends are eating and by the pressures they put on themselves to adhere to certain body image standards, like being very thin.

Even when parents are putting balanced meals on the table, teenaged students might not always make it home in time, relying instead on snacks or grabbing fast meals on the run. Fast foods and less-than-nutritious snacks in school vending machines and cafeterias are all too accessible, but they come at a cost in the form of higher fat content and empty calories.

During the teenage years, vitamins and minerals are especially important for proper growth and development. Attention should turn to getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals. Specifically, iron is critical both for girls once they begin menstruating and for boys who are building body mass. Healthy bone development also requires the right amounts of calcium and vitamin D on a consistent basis.

For teens who become vegetarians, the focus is not just on having enough iron and calcium, but also protein, zinc and vitamin B12. If your teen is not getting enough nutrients from the four essential food groups on a daily basis, you may want to talk to a physician about the health benefits of a multivitamin or calcium supplement.

A well-balanced diet is not only important for proper growth and development in the teen years, it is essential in creating a healthy foundation that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis.



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