As a teenager, your girl might want to look slim, and for her, dieting might seem a good option to try to lose weight or stay healthy and fit.
But as a parent, you may be worried if your teenage daughter is eating right and meeting the nutrient requirements of her growing body. Dieting doesn’t mean to starve or to restrict certain food groups; it is much more than that. Keep reading to find out about the right kind of diet for your teenage daughter.
In this post, Mom Junction talks about the importance of a healthy and balanced Weight Loss Plans for Teen Girls.
Following a diet plan is good as it will teach discipline and create awareness of what you are consuming in a day. But sometimes, that diet plan could become unhealthy.
According to the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans, a healthy diet should be as follows:
- A diet that allows you to follow healthy eating patterns and consists of fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, grains, and oils.
- It should limit the consumption of saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium intake.
- It should focus on variety and nutrient-dense food across all food groups.
Any diet that contradicts these points could be considered unhealthy. If a Diet Plan for Weight Loss is restricting certain food groups such as carbohydrates or fats, it could be unhealthy as the body needs all of this but in moderation. So, it is not advised to follow unhealthy diet plans to reduce weight or to increase muscle growth in short periods of time.
If your girl is overweight or obese, then it is good to consult a dietitian for a customized diet plan rather than following any random online diet.
Before we jump into the diet plan, we will give you a few tips that could clarify the importance of a healthy Diet Plan for Teenage Girls.
Importance of A Balanced Diet for Teenage Girls
Most teen girls are conscious about their weight and appearance and tend to reduce their calorie intake to maintain their weight. What you need to tell your girl is that she can maintain an ideal weight by consuming wholesome food.
A Healthy Diet Plan for a teenage girl should include:
- Calories that the teenager needs for overall growth. The average calorie requirement for teen girls is 1,800 to 2,200 or more if the girl is physically active and plays a sport.
- Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins needed for healthy physical development.
- Vitamins and minerals for healthy growth.
A healthy and balanced diet helps the child develop healthy eating habits, which will aid her in the future. Therefore, you need to prepare a Weight Loss Plan for Teenager.
Tips On a Healthy Diet Plan for Teenage Girls
Growing girls need more than just some food and water for sustenance. They need a complete diet that gives them the nutrition they need to grow into healthy and strong young women. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when formulating a Teenage Girl Diet Plans
Plan Your Child’s Meals
Follow a food guide or make a diet chart to plan your kids’ meals. The idea is to make your child’s diet complete with the nutrients that she needs to grow and stay healthy. A complete diet is one that has proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Avoid no-carb or zero-carb diets as they can have adverse effects on the child’s health.
Also, make sure that your teen has all the meals as planned. Breakfast, especially, must not be missed, for it is the most important meal of the day that boosts metabolism and will kick-start her bodily functions too! Include fresh fruits and proteins in her breakfast as they will keep her full for longer and give her the energy to face the morning rush. Also, replace caffeine with fresh juices, smoothies, milkshakes, or an occasional cup of tea.
Tell Her Healthy Fats Are Good Fats
Since teenage girls might be conscious of their weight, they will shy away from fats. However, not all fats are bad. Fattening foods are not good for your teen girl’s health, but she must know about the concept of healthy fats that are essential for the absorption of some nutrients and the production of important hormones. Fats keep our body well-hydrated and are necessary to obtain a certain portion of calories that the body needs. Encourage the consumption of healthy fats and ask your teen to steer clear of trans-fats, which lead to excess weight gain.
Make A Smart Choice for ‘In-Between’ Snacks
If your daughter feels hungry between meals, make her reach out for a fruit, a handful of dry nuts or seeds, roasted lotus seeds, boiled egg, etc. They are easy to eat and packed with nutrients, thus making them a smart snack option.
Set A Time for Snacks
The best time for snacks is in between breakfast and lunch. Another good time is after lunch and before dinner. While some may be okay with the idea of a late-night snack, it is good to avoid them, especially if the child wants to lose excess weight or can make a smart choice.
The child may include a glass of warm milk or 1-2 pieces of soaked dry fruits like figs and dates. You can also give her sugar-free or low-sugar energy bars. Ask her to limit candy bars and snacks that simply pack in calories and offer no goodness.
Give A Twist to Lunch
Make lunch interesting for your daughter by using the same ingredients differently.
For example, you can use the ingredients of a salad, such as veggies and boiled lentils, with a tortilla roll to make veggie or meaty wraps with a dash of cheese or tangy sauces. The bottom line is that your daughter should eat a filling lunch instead of nibbling on some salad leaves and protein bars.
Keep The Dinner Light
Dinner should have fewer carbohydrates but must not be skipped. Prepare a healthy meal but keep it light. Simple dinner options for a teenager would include vegetable or chicken soups, salads with her choice of dressings, multi-grain pasta, or multi-grain noodles. The idea is to combine nutrition with taste so that your child will eat it.
Prepare Low-Fat Low-Sugar Desserts
Too much sugar is bad. But if your child has a sweet tooth, you could switch to low-sugar and low-fat dessert alternatives, such as low-fat flavored yogurt, fruit salads, or low-sugar sweet treats. You could also make your girl’s favorite desserts healthier by adding fruits, nuts, or crackers to it.
Eliminating sugar altogether and at once, can create a craving for sweets and lead to indulgence in sugary foods.
Make Her Drink Plenty of Water
Let your girl drink enough water to keep her body hydrated. Not drinking enough water may also make the child hungry more often. So, drinking enough water will keep those hunger pangs at bay and the metabolism rate up.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking with meals. Substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.
Avoid Junk Foods
Any food that offers no nutritional value qualifies as junk food and should be avoided. Such food can lead to excess weight gain as our body doesn’t use up the junk food for anything good. It just accumulates as empty calories. Talk to your girl about healthy and unhealthy foods and explain why she should avoid junk food.
Teenage girls could become vulnerable to fad diets or come under peer pressure. But as a parent, you can help your daughter eat right and follow a healthy lifestyle. To help you with that, we have created two sample meal plans that you can use as a reference to chalk up the ideal diet for your teen girl.
Diet Plan for Teen Girls
There is no one-size-fits-all Diet Plans for Teenage Girls. Your girl’s diet must be prepared considering her age, weight, physical activity, and health conditions. Ideally, a teenage girl’s diet must include:
- Natural protein foods — red meat, pulses, cereals, green vegetables, and fish
- Calcium-rich foods — soya beans, tofu, nuts, milk products
- Iron-rich foods — beans, poultry, seafood, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, iron-fortified foods
- Vitamin D rich foods — breakfast cereals, oily fishes, and margarine
- Vitamin C rich foods — lemon, grapefruit, potatoes, tomatoes, and oranges
- Folate-rich foods — green vegetables, brown rice, fortified bread and breakfast cereals
Putting them all together, we have compiled a couple of diet plans that could work for your teenager.
Information Published By Natural Health News