Nutritional Needs For Teenagers

How healthy or disease free your adulthood will be, depends on the foods you consumed during your early childhood and teenage days. Children go through various stages of growth and development from infant (0 to 1 years old), toddler (1 to 3 years old), early childhood (4 to 8 years old), middle childhood (9 to 11 years old) to adolescence (12 to 18 years old) . At each stage, you will observe various mental and physical developments in your child. How are nutritional need for teenagers different from earlier years? (Power foods for kids of all ages)

What is Teenage?

Time between thirteen to nineteen years of age is known as teenage years in a person’s life. This is the time for some major physical, mental and hormonal changes. Since there are so many changes taking place in the body, it becomes very important for parents to pay special attention to the daily nutritional requirements for teenagers. So when kids enter their teens, it becomes essential for parents to understand how nutritional needs for teenagers are different from preteen years. (What is Puberty?)

Growth and Development during Teenage years:

Teenagers undergo major physical development during their puberty phase. These physical changes are regulated by changes in the levels of hormones which are produced by the pituitary gland: luteinizing hormone (responsible for menstrual cycle in girls) and follicle-stimulating hormone (responsible for reproductive system in both girls and boys). In the early puberty phase, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone increase, resulting in major physical changes including weight gain, outbursts of acne, height gain and behavioral changes like anxiety, hyper-activity and short-temperedness. (Fruits for teens?)

Nutritional needs for Teenagers:

Teenagers tend to make more food choices on their own as they become more independent and are often influenced by their peers. So it becomes parent’s responsibility to provide them with good examples and nutritious foods and minimize the consumption of junk or packaged food. (Kids can deplete their calcium by eating junk food.)

Calorie requirements:

Due to the growth spurt of puberty, there is a surge in appetite around the age of ten in girls and twelve in boys which leads to increase in daily calories requirement during this time. Calories are the measurement used to express the energy delivered by food. The body demands more calories during early adolescence than at any other time of life. (What is growing leg pain?) On average, boys require 2,800 calories per day while girls require 2,200 calories per day.

Essential Nutrients:

Due to so many changes taking place in the body, there are daily nutrients and habits that kids need to keep themselves happy and healthy. Nutritional needs for teenagers includes all the essential macronutrients and micronutrients in the right quantity. (What is balanced diet?)  


Protein: Teenagers need a balanced meal with adequate amounts of protein during puberty as protein helps in growth and repair of muscles and tissues. It also generates enzymes and hormones. Protein rich diets help them to feel energetic throughout the day. Nuts, seeds, chicken, eggs, fish and cheese are a few high protein foods. (Top nuts and seeds for protein)

Carbohydrates: They are the biggest source of energy for teenagers. Almost 60% of energy (calories) for the day must come from carbohydrate foods. They provide instant energy and keep the kids on their toes. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and sugar are rich in carbohydrates. (Food for immunity?)

Dietary Fat: Fat should make up no more than 30% of the diet. A teenager who indulges in a fat-heavy diet is going to put on weight, even if he or she is active. Dietary fat contains varying proportions of three types:

  • Monounsaturated fat is the healthiest kind of fat and is found in olives, olive oil, peanuts, peanut, peanut butter, cashews, walnuts, walnut oil and canola oil.
  • Polyunsaturated fat is found in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and sesame-seed oil.
  • Saturated fat is the most cholesterol laden of the three and is found in meat and dairy products like beef, pork, lamb, butter, cheese, cream, egg yolks, coconut oil, and palm oil. (Natural sources of saturated fats?)

Your family’s intake of saturated fat should not more than 10% of your total daily calories. The other 20% of daily calories from dietary fat should come equally from the two unsaturated kinds of fat.


Iron: Iron is essential for teens, especially for girls as they lose more of it once menstruation starts. Iron rich foods such as meat, fish, poultry, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds should be  teenagers on a daily basis.(How iron deficiency affects children?)

Calcium and Vitamin D: Teenagers need calcium to build strong bones which can help them later in life. Deficiency of calcium can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become weak and can easily break). Consumption of vitamin D is equally important as it helps in absorption of calcium. Calcium rich foods include low-fat milk, other dairy foods and dark green vegetables, along with fortified foods like fortified juice and cereal. (Why calcium and vitamin D are important?)

Vitamins: Vitamins are water-soluble or fat-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K ) are found in leafy vegetables, animal products, nuts & seeds, vegetable oils, dairy foods. Water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C, the B vitamins) are commonly found in nuts & seeds, fruits, vegetables, grains, milk and dairy foods. (What foods have which vitamins?

Minerals: Minerals include calcium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, chloride and Sulphur are found in nuts, seeds, shellfish, chicken, eggs, beans, cocoa, avocados, berries, yogurt and cheese. (Why calcium?)

Recipe: Pumpkin and Millet Pancake with hidden herbs and nuts:

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We know that preparing and feeding healthy foods everyday is a huge task. Even more tough when kids are picky eaters. Kids prefer certain foods and formats. It is not easy to feed kids bitter Ayurvedic herbs, variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds everyday.
Mixed with Ayurvedic herbs, this unique product is an easy solution to feed daily nutrition for Immunity, Brain development, Bone strength and overall-growth to kids without any fuss.

Let’s make every dish tasty and nutritious by ‘hidden’ nutrition of veggies, herbs and nuts.

Dry ingredients
Pumpkin puree
Add Iyurved’s 5 herbs & 7 nuts savoury spread( order here )
Spread on pan. Flip & cook.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Jowar/Sorghum or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp honey/ dates powder/ sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Iyurved’s 5 herbs and 7 nuts savoury spread (order here)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1-1.25 cups milk or nut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Iyurved’s 5 herbs and 7 nuts chocolate spread (order here)- Optional

Mix all the dry and wet ingredients. Whisk well. The batter should not be watery. Heat a skillet. Grease with oil. Once heated, pour a ladle of batter on to the skillet. Allow the pancake to cook on medium heat. You will notice the top side begins to get bubbles and air pockets and will slowly get steamed and cooked. At this point flip to the other side and allow it to cook for about 30 seconds. Serve! For chocolate lovers, you can add chocolate spread and make chocolate pumpkin pancake.

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If your child is a picky eater or does not take enough nutrition for the day, you can give ‘5 Ayurvedic herbs and 7 Nuts’ chocolate or savoury spreads to meet daily Nutrition ORDER | 0% preservative

Daily Nutrition for: Immunity, Brain development, Bones and Overall growth

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Foods and Remedies recommended by a Nutritionist expert.

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