Nutrition for Teens
During puberty, both girls and boys experience a significant increase in appetite due to various hormonal changes and the rapid growth and development that occurs during this period. While the exact amount of appetite surge can vary from person to person, it is common for children to experience an increase in hunger and food intake.
The surge in appetite is primarily driven by hormonal changes, including the release of growth hormone and sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. These hormones play a crucial role in triggering the growth spurt and other physical changes associated with puberty.
It's important to note that individual differences exist, and not all children will have the same level of appetite surge. Some may experience a more noticeable increase in hunger, while others may not experience it as intensely. Factors such as genetics, overall health, and lifestyle can also influence the magnitude of the appetite surge.
Parents may notice their children seeking out more snacks and food during this time. It's essential to provide a balanced and nutritious diet to support their growth and development. Encouraging healthy eating habits, such as consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help meet their increased nutritional needs during puberty.
It's also important to foster a positive and supportive environment around food and body image. Puberty can bring about changes in body shape and size, and it's crucial to promote a healthy body image and self-esteem. Open communication and understanding between parents and children can help navigate this phase effectively.
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How to Involve Children When Choosing Healthy Snacks
Another tip for when taking your kids to the grocery store is trying to make them accountable for their choices of snacks, but also helping them and guiding them. This way, when they’re back at home and they’re hungry, you can direct them in saying “Well, these are some of the snacks that you’ve chosen, so let’s figure out what we can make here.” Local Nutritionist
So in the grocery store, looking at for example, labels and trying to help them identify healthy options, by for example looking at fibre. Looking that the ingredient list isn’t super long. Sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store.
Having them choose fresh options. Having them choose varieties of colours and shapes, and this is helpful too. So when they can see something that looks exciting, by purples and reds and oranges, this can make for fun, exciting snacks as well.