Dietary Needs of the Adolescent
As girls and boys cross ten and upto the age of nearly twenty, they are in adolescence. This stage of neither child nor adult produces physical and mental changes in girls and boys that ultimately evolves into physical characteristics and mental make-up of the young adult. As such the dietary needs of this period which is the crossroads in the life of girls and boys are critical. The diet has to help children grow into adulthood with physical strength and mental stability.
Adolescents need more of everything to keep up with the massive teenage growth spurt: calories and protein for growth and to build muscle; and protein calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D for bone formation. For many teenagers the demands of school and social life mean that they eat many meals away from home; suddenly they have the responsibility of choosing perhaps the major part of their diet. Some use food to establish an identity, such as by becoming a vegetarian or going on a diet. Iron-deficiency anaemia is fairly common in adolescent girls; the cause is not always clear and may be a problem of absorption rather than the amount of iron in the diet. Anorexia and certain other eating disorders are a risk for a small group of adolescents, especially girls.
Obesity (defined as being 20 per cent or more above desirable weight) is a problem for both boys and girls, particularly among our urban and affluent classes. Weight control can be complicated for adolescents. They still need calories for growth, together with the necessary balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The best approach to controlling weight in obese youngsters is serving smaller portions and encouraging regular, vigorous exercise, which reduces body fat while building lean tissue. Calcium is important for forming strong, healthy bones during adolescence and preventing osteoporosis later in life. Youths 10 to 16 years need 3 to 4 milk produce servings a day-the equivalent of 2 cups of milk and 1 ounces (2 slices) of cheese or cup of yogurt -every day. A rich supply of calcium is found in sardines, hilsha and salmon, fortified breakfast cereals, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Teenagers often prefer sancks loaded with fat, sugar, and salt: potato chips, french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, chocolate, and candy bars, cola drinks. These foods are high in sodium and yield a poor balance between calories and nutrition; a steady diet of them is low in vitamins A and C, calcium, and dietary fibre. Those children who visit fast food restaurants should have fresh vegetable salads and fruits from the restaurant, or at home.
Offer your teenager a variety of appetising, healthful snack foods to choose from at home. Teenagers who skip breakfast may start the school day feeling lethargic. Slip a breakfast of fruit and cheese, and dried cereal into their school bags, along with fruit juices.
There are some foods to eat plenty of and others to avoid in ailments which are more common in the adolescent. Acne is a common ailment of the adolescent, whether a girl or boy.
If afflicted with acne, you have to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins A and C. Whole grains and cereals for B vitamins and zinc. Lean meat and poultry, and fish for zinc. Iodized salt and high doses of B vitamins have to be avoided. Anaemia is the umbrella term for a variety of disorders that are chracterized by the inability of red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen.
The most common type of anaemia in our country is iron-deficiency anaemia. To prevent getting anaemic, eat plenty of organ meats, beef and other meats, poultry, fish and eggs for iron and vitamin B12; dried beans and peas, dates, raisins, dried fruits; iron-enriched bread and cereals; citrus fruits and other good sources of vitamin C, which increases the body's iron absorption; green leafy vegetables for folate. Cut down on zinc and calcium supplements, antacids, coffee, and tea, which reduce iron absorption. Avoid iron supplements, unless prescribed by a doctor.
Anorexia nervosa is self-starvation that is caused by a complex psychiatric disorder affecting around one per cent of the people worldwide, mostly adolescent girls. You have to take at least a small amount of nutritious food with multivitamin pills and calorie-enriched liquid supplements if approved by a doctor. Avoid coffee, diet soft- drinks, and low-calore diet foods; appetite suppressants, diuretics and laxatives.
Bulimia, another condition in the adolescent and young adults is defined as recurrent episodes of binge eating about twice or thrice a week over a period of three to six months. Far more girls and young women are affected by bulimia than boys or young men. Consume plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, low calorie beverages, and high-fibre foods to promote a feeling of fullness; bananas, dried fruits, and a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and grains for potassium. Cut down on fats and other high-calorie foods, sweets and foods associated with binges.
Adolescents are susceptible to dental disorders because of food habits and inattention to brushing and flossing after meals. For preventing dental decay, eat plenty of Calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese; fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins A and C, and for chewing in order to promote healthy gums.
Eating apples and guavas can keep gums healthy. Cut down on dried fruits and other sticky foods that lodge between the teeth. Avoid sweet drinks and snacks, and steady sipping of acidic drinks for prolonged periods. For ear disorders eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to help bolster immunity against infection.
Avoid foods high in saturated fats to prevent hearing loss; high- salt foods, such as fast foods, that can cause a buildup of inner ear fluid; aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers if you have ringing in the ears.
For sore throat, common in adolescents, consume plenty of citrus and other fruits and fresh vegetables for vitamin C; yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and green vegetables for carotene; seafood, lean meat, yogurt, and fortified grain products for zinc; caffeine -free fluids.
Monucleosis is common in children and adolescents, and nearly fifty per cent of the age group 5 to 20 are affected. You have to consume fruit and vegetable juices for vitamins and minerals; milk shakes for calories, minerals and vitamin D; soups for energy and fibre; soft foods to soothe a sore throat.
Avoid caffeinated drinks. Malnutrition in children and adolescents are as common in poor countries in Asia and Africa and other underdeveloped areas, as in the affluent nations. Nutritions food, vitamin and mineral supplements have to be fed to adolescents in such cases under the advice of professional dietitians and doctors. Adolescents of the poorer classes in our society - the vulnerable -group have to be fed by public agencies and NGOs undertaking such feeding programmes.
Premenstrual syndrome and menstrual problems are a cause for concern among adolescent girls. Eat plenty of iron-rich foods, such as fish, prawns and shrimps legumes and mutton; citrus fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to promote iron absorption; whole grain, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits. Medical researchers recommend vitamin B supplements, on the advice of doctors. Cut down on caffeinated drinks. Avoid saturated fats and highly refined and processed foods, highly salted foods, which promote fluid retention and bloating.
Similar of Dietary Needs of the Adolescent