The Importance of Teen Nutrition
Loren Besancon, Clinical Dietician Boys Town National Research Hospital
The teenage years are a really important time to make sure that kids are getting adequate nutrition.
The vitamins and minerals that we usually see suffer the most are, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Basically, your fruits, your vegetables and your milk.
Parents need to be aware of what their teenagers are consuming. I know that teens aren't around very much and therefore it makes it a little bit challenging. When the teens are around I would capitalize on that opportunity to try and feed them a balanced diet.
Athletes should focus on a really balanced diet that includes not only whole grains and protein, but fruits and vegetables. Some of your endurance athletes like to do things like carb-loading. Ultimately instead of doing it like we used to, the night before a football game or basketball game, you really should be doing it throughout the course of the week prior to that event.
We don't recommend a whole lot of supplements like creatine, protein powder or anything like that to ultimately meet your nutrition needs, unless it is recommended by a physician.
A sports drink periodically is ok. Eight to 16 ounces of sports drink will probably be good to cover you if you exercised for two hours. If you're consuming it just for the taste or the health benefit of it, you're usually consuming a large amount of calories with very little benefit, if you did not work out for a long period of time.
Dietician at Boys Town Pediatrics explains the importance of teen nutrition. Find out how to get your teen to eat the proper foods, the essential vitamins needed and incorporating sports nutrition.