A Balanced Diet For Tweens Creates Healthy Bodies & Minds

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A healthy body and mind are created in part by a balanced diet. Kids are still developing and what they consume is very important.

Eating healthy food is the primary need of every human being at any stage of life, but it is specially important for children and tweens. This is because in the early years of life, a child’s body is growing. It needs quality food that can meet the nutritional needs to help it body grow. As children develop, they experience major body transformations including hormonal changes. Therefore, an intake of healthy and balanced food is vital for children of all ages.

The Pressure Of Dieting & Weight Loss

During the tween and teen years, kids are often under pressure for having certain looks. So, in modern times, kids are experimenting new types of dieting that once were considered only for grown ups. This is not healthy at all. Dieting is meant to restrict nutrients that children need, such as a no-carb diet. As a matter of fact, carbs are extremely important in a child’s diet. However, this doesn’t mean eat bread all day. The key word is balanced and everything in moderation.

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According to Kids Health, extreme weight loss or weight gain are connected to eating disorders.

RELATED: How To Properly Care For Your Tweens Physical Health

A Balanced Diet & Lifestyle For Tweens

A balanced diet is one which is rich in all vitamins and minerals one may need and these do not make a child too thin or obese. Knowing what makes up a balanced diet is essential; however, it is also important to know how and when to eat, what to avoid and what lifestyle to practice. According to health experts, a healthy eating routine is as follows:

  1. Eat at least five servings of food per day i.e. small portions but more servings per day.
  2. Drink water and other healthy drinks like fresh juices, shakes or smoothies than sugary items or cold drinks.
  3. Avoid processed, preserved or fast food as much as possible like burgers, pizzas, cold drinks etc. Try to eat more organic and home made fresh food.
  4. Eat protein including meat, eggs, beans, nuts, soy products and seafood.
  5. Eat fiber including whole grains (whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal)
  6. Do not skip meals especially breakfast. According to research on National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases NIDDK, teens who eat breakfast may do better in school by increasing their memory and staying focused during the school day. So never skip breakfast.
  7. Get enough sleep. According to health experts, during this growing age, kids should ideally have a restful night’s sleep for at least 8 to 9 hours per day and during those hours when sleep affects body. This time slot is usually between 10 pm to 4 am.
  8. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables regularly.
  9. Exercise, run, walk, play, dance, bike, swim! Movement of your body will make the food in your body digest properly and turn it into your muscle rather than fat in the body. Change posture when sitting for longer times and avoid excessive usage of phones and other gadgets.
  10. Avoid food supplements or diet pills. Only natural food and natural intake!

Meals, Portions & Nutrients For Tweens Per Day

According to health experts at Golisano Children’s Hospital, a child between the ages of 9 and 12 should ideally be eating following portions (including nutrients they will be getting from it):

  1. Dairy products: i.e. milk, yogurt, cheese: 4 servings (Calcium, Riboflavin, Protein)
  2. Meat i.e. beef, fish, poultry, eggs: 4 servings (Proteins, Iron)
  3. Fruits, vegetables, juices: 4-6 servings (Vitamin A & C)
  4. Breads/Cereals i.e. whole grain bread, rice, pasta, cereals, crackers: 6-11 servings (Thiamin, Iron, Niacin)
  5. Fats/Oils: 3 servings (Fatty Acids, Vitamins A, D, K, E)

A Balanced Diet Leads To Healthy Kids’ Bodies

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If you follow the above eating rules along with healthy movement of the body like exercise and walking, this routine will eventually benefit a child’s body and it will grow healthily.

If the recommended diet is not helping a child’s body grow or their mind seems foggy, consult a health expert who can guide you on how to improve your lifestyle and diet routine.

Healthy Bodies Lead To Healthy Minds

Nutrition will directly affect kids’ mind. The nutrients entering the body will allow the mind to have positive thoughts, and a child will feel more energetic and constructive. This is the age when your mind matters the most.

Let’s remember that our diet helps aid our body and mind. With a healthy body and mind, our children will create and shape their future.

READ NEXT: There’s A Unique Relationship Between Diet & Teens’ Mental Health

Sources: kidshealth.orgGolisano Children’s HospitalResearch on National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases NIDDK

Editor’s Note: We are not medical professionals. This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Please consult your physician for expert advice and a nutrition-filled diet for you and your child(ren). Always speak to a doctor before trying any new health regimes. 

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