When you raise your children, it’s a parent’s job to ensure that you encourage good eating habits and allow them the benefit of proper nutrition. But it’s not only this stage of growth that’s crucial for laying the foundation for a health-friendly lifestyle.
As your children grow into teens and young adults, nutrition is just as important. Because in these formative years they further develop their muscles and bones. However, nutrition isn’t only important for supporting healthy bone and muscle growth, it also supports mental health and cognitive function as well.
Without proper nutrition, a poor diet often leads to a deficiency of nutrients that are vital to enabling the body (and the mind) to operate properly. And if your teen or young adult is health-conscious, you’ll want to offer them adequate choices for nutrition.
Thankfully, there are many ways to introduce a well-balanced dietary regimen to your teen or young adult. And the following will offer a few tips and ideas for health-friendly nutritional options.
Supplements and Multivitamins
If you suspect that your teen isn’t getting an adequate supply of vitamins or minerals from his or her daily diet, you may consider urging your teen to take supplements or multivitamins. And these can be beneficial for many reasons.
A few benefits of multivitamins include the following:
- Fill nutrition gaps
- Support an already healthy immune system
- Supports healthy aging
- Supports brain health
- Supports healthy bones and muscles
- Supports heart health
All in all, multivitamins that deliver powerful antioxidants can offer your teen the benefits of supporting healthy cell and DNA function. It’s also good to note that free radicals can be found in many elements, from the air that we breathe to many of the foods that we consume. But with a higher level of antioxidants within the body, the less the body has to fight when up against free radicals.
When most people think of protein, meat is usually the first thought that registers. And while a regular meat intake does have great nutritional benefits, there are actually many ways for getting a recommended daily allotment of protein without eating meat.
Today, there are many people who prefer a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. And if you fall into either camp, meat products (or any animal byproduct) are simply out of the question. Thankfully, there are many alternatives for protein that can be found in plants and fish.
The following are a few plants rich in protein and iron:
- Green peas
- Lima Beans
- Fava beans
- Pinto beans
Protein helps to support proper brain function and muscle growth. And without an adequate daily supplement of protein, cognitive function may suffer as a result. In fact, many doctors and nutritionists recommend consuming at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.
One of the great parts of being a teen or young adult is that there are no shortages of snacks available. However, not all of the snack foods at the local grocery store are health-friendly. But by becoming knowledgeable about what to look for, you can ensure that your teen has plenty of choices for healthy snacks that can benefit their nutrition.
Healthy snacks often come in the form of whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. And you can also make these fun to eat by mixing them up and making your own variations.
For example, instead of just having an apple or an orange, you could make a fruit medley out of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, apple slices, strawberries, or any other fruit that your teen or young adult prefers. Additionally, you can also make a fruit smoothie by blending up the ingredients and adding milk, or yogurt to the blend.
Further, whole-grain mixes such as nuts, oats, or granola are also great to keep on hand if your teen is busy and always on the go. In fact, just by bagging up a portion of mixed nuts, oats, and other whole grains such as those which contain complex carbohydrates, you can offer your teen a healthy snack that they can take with them anywhere.
Nutrition is a vital component of living a health-friendly lifestyle. And as all children need important nutrients in order to grow properly, this is no different for your teen or young adult. By ensuring that you can offer your teen or young adult a choice for health-friendly options, they’ll be more inclined to make health-conscious nutritional decisions.