The Ultimate Guide For Adolescent Nutritional Requirements

As a result of the rapid physical development and growth that occurs during adolescence, the dietary requirements also increase drastically.

Along with increases in height and weight, this is also contributed to by changes in hormone levels and mental state shifts. Building up an adequate amount of bone mass is essential for maintaining good bone health.

Because of the added physiological stress that menstruation causes, girls have certain dietary requirements that must be met to ensure their overall health and prepare them for the possibility of becoming mothers in the future. With all these crucial aspects in mind, let’s dive deep into adolescent nutritional requirements.

Why nutrition becomes a quest in adolescence?

Adolescents have different nutritional and dietary needs than adults because of physical changes that occur during this time. Teenagers can now independently make many decisions about what they consume.

Teenagers frequently experience growth spurts and a corresponding rise in hunger. Their rapidly expanding bodies necessitate well-balanced, nourishing meals. Teenagers are more likely to eat out than younger ones.

Nutrition in the adolescent

They are also significantly influenced by peer pressure. Adolescents overeat junk food like drinks, fast food, and prepared meals since they are easy and quick to prepare.

Furthermore, many young people stress about their weight and diet. Girls may try to diet to reduce their weight in response to social pressure. Both boys and girls may “make weight” by dieting in preparation for a social or sporting event.

Development And The Role Of Nutrition

Whether it is adolescence, childhood, or later stages of life, development, and nutrition go hand in hand. Adolescents need dietary coaching to help them keep their weight down, lower their chance of getting sick, and continue developing normally.

Avoiding obesity, iron deficiency, anemia, and poor bone mineralization may be aided by eating healthily and exercising regularly.

Obesity is one of the major concerns shown by adolescents presently. Being obese or overweight as a youngster increases the chances of acquiring type 2 diabetes at some point in life.

Therefore, the eating patterns established at this time may have a lasting effect on the probability of developing such chronic illnesses as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancer later in life. The demands for food and drink increase steadily throughout adolescence.

5 Right Nutritions For Adolescence

Stressing the importance of regular exercise and a balanced diet is also important. If parents want their children to be responsible eaters, they should encourage them and offer them plenty of nutritious food options. Calories, calcium, zinc, protein, iron, and most vitamins are especially important for adolescents.

1. Calories

The amount of calories a teen needs to consume depends on their basal metabolic rate, how active they are, and whether or not they need to encourage pubertal maturation. Teenagers need to increase their caloric intake to keep up with their increased activity and physical development. 

Teenage boys require a greater caloric intake than teenage girls due to their greater size and weight. They require between 2500 and 2800 calories daily to keep their weight stable. Teenage girls, on the other hand, need about 2200 calories each day to stay at a healthy weight. 

Adolescents should eat a diet rich in lean protein sources, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits to meet these requirements.

2. Protein

Protein is crucial for teens to keep their muscle mass up during this time of rapid growth. Females between 11 and 14 have a higher protein requirement than boys between 15 and 18 per height unit. 

The daily allowance for protein for an adolescent is 45–60 grams. Chicken, steak, eggs, and dairy products are common ways for teenagers to meet this protein need. Protein-rich foods include nuts, beans, soy products, and tofu.

3. Calcium

Adolescents have the highest peak bone mass in their lives at 45 percent. This is why making sure kids have enough calcium is so important. Adolescents between 9 and 18 should get at least 1,133 milligrams of calcium daily. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends milk, cheese, yogurt, calcium-fortified drinks, and cereals as excellent sources of calcium for adolescents.

4. Iron

Anaemia, caused by a blood iron deficiency, is potentially lethal. Adolescent boys require 12 mg of iron daily, while girls need 15 mg. To ensure you’re receiving enough iron, eating various meals from different dietary groups is best.

5. Zinc

Zinc is essential for regulating both gene expression and protein synthesis. Adolescence is a crucial time for it because it aids in both physical and sexual maturation. Males who are zinc deficient are more likely to experience growth retardation.

Zinc is found in high concentrations in whole grains and legumes and in seafood, red meat, and shellfish. Zinc-fortified breakfast cereals are another great way to get your daily dose of the mineral. Adolescent vegetarians, especially those who eliminate animal products, often struggle with its deficiency.

Folate, vitamin B12, and vitamins A, B6, C, E, and D are often deficient in adolescents. However, vitamin deficits are uncommon in teenagers who consume the dietary guidelines. You can meet these requirements as a supplement.

Read More:- Teen Nutrition: 5 Inevitable Superfoods For Teenagers

Wrapping Up

During adolescence, both the body and your social life undergo major alterations. Consequently, the relevance of maintaining healthy eating habits throughout this time should not be understated. While you are still a teenager, the food choices you make will have an effect not only on your current health but also on your future health. To maintain the vitality of nutrition for growth, teenagers must settle on a good diet.

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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