Nutritional needs of Adolescents
Adolescence is a stage of rapid growth and development. Hence a diet with proper calories and other nutrients is needed for proper growth and physical activity. Balanced diet is very much important during adolescence. Balanced diet includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins in requisite proportions. Our Indian meal of roti / rice, dal (pulses), milk, fruits and vegetables forms a balanced food.
The nutritional deficiencies during this period not only retard the physical growth, but also impair the intellectual development and may also delay sexual maturation. A very good amount of proteins and carbohydrates is necessary during this growth period. Apart from that, adolescents need the following dietary components.
Since there is an increase in skeletal mass and blood volume during adolescence, the body needs calcium, phosphorus and iron.
Calcium intake needs to be increased to prevent osteoporosis in later life. It is present in milk and milk products or other equivalents.
Collect more information on balanced diet and prepare a chart. Display the chart in your class and discuss its importance.
It helps to prevent thyroid gland related diseases.
Iron builds blood, and iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, jaggery, meat, dates, fish, chicken, citrus, Indian gooseberry (Nelli) and whole pulses are good for adolescents. Lack of iron in the diet results in anemia. To make up for the loss of iron, adolescents need to have a diet rich in iron. In boys, iron deficiency occurs due to muscle spurt whereas in girls it occurs due to menstruation in addition to the muscular growth.
Women should take in more iron in their diet regularly to make up for the loss of bloodduring menstruation.