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Adolescent Nutrition

Adolescent Nutrition


Eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is something that should be taught at a young age. The following are some general guidelines for helping your adolescent eat healthy. It is important to discuss your adolescent's diet with his/her physician prior to making any dietary changes or placing your adolescent on a diet. Discuss the following healthy eating recommendations with your adolescent to ensure he/she is following a healthy eating plan:
  • Eat three meals a day, with healthy snacks.
  • Increase fiber in the diet and decrease the use of salt.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • For growing children and adolescents, it is generally recommended to watch total fat consumption in the diet, rather than counting calories.
  • Eat balanced meals.
  • When cooking for your adolescent, try to bake or broil instead of fry.
  • Make sure your adolescent watches (and decreases, if necessary) his/her sugar intake.
  • Eat fruit or vegetables for a snack.
  • For children over 5 years of age, use low-fat dairy products.
  • Decrease the use of butter and heavy gravies.
  • Eat more chicken and fish.

Healthy eating during adolescence is important as important body changes during this time affect an individual's nutritional and dietary needs. Adolescents are becoming more independent and making many food decisions on their own. Many adolescents experience a growth spurt and an increase in appetite and need healthy foods to meet their growth needs. Adolescents tend to eat more meals away from home than younger children. They are also heavily influenced by their peers. Meal convenience is important to many adolescents and they may be eating too much of the wrong types of food (i.e., soft drinks, fast-food, processed foods).

Further, a common concern of many adolescents is dieting. Girls may feel pressure from peers to be thin and to limit what they eat. Both boys and girls may diet to "make weight" for a particular sporting or social event.

The following are some helpful considerations as you prepare meals for your adolescent:

  • Arrange for teens to find out about nutrition for themselves by providing teen-oriented magazines or books with food articles and by encouraging them and supporting their interest in health, cooking, or nutrition.
  • Take their suggestions, when possible, regarding foods to prepare at home.
  • Experiment with foods outside your own culture.
  • Have several nutritious snack foods readily available. Often times, teenagers will eat whatever is convenient.
  • If there are foods that you do not want your teens to eat, avoid bringing them into the home.

Healthy food choices


The food guide pyramid is a guideline to help you and your child eat a healthy diet. The food guide pyramid can help you and your child eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services have prepared the food guide pyramid to guide parents in selecting foods for children 2 to 6 years of age. Choose the proper number of servings from each food group for your child each day.

Contact Information


Driscoll Children's Hospital
3533 S. Alameda Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

(361) 694-5000
(800) DCH-LOVE or (800) 324-5683


For TTY Deaf Messaging Connect to TTY Interpretation by dialing
(800) 735-2989

Patients & Families

News

Driscoll's Teddy Bear Hospital is a chance for patients to be the doctors

April 08, 2014
WHAT: Patients will be the doctors tomorrow during a Teddy Bear Hospital organized by the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. The event allows children to become more familiar with the medical equipment and procedures involved in their treatment. They'll choose their teddy bear, give it a...
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April is Child Safety Month

April 01, 2014
Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program team
CORPUS CHRISTI - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age one through 12 years old. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data, in 2010 almost an average of two children were killed and 325 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced...
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Driscoll patients go to Spurs game courtesy of generous donors

March 28, 2014
WHAT: Five Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parents or guardians will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for San Antonio to see a Spurs game as part of a live auction package purchased at this year's Fiesta de los Niños. Steve and Jessica Johnson of JSJ Services, Inc. have purchased this item...
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Driscoll patients to be treated to Child Life Month celebration

March 10, 2014
March is Child Life Month
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital will celebrate Child Life Month with a superhero-themed party for in-house patients tomorrow. The sixth annual event is designed to make hospitalization a little more pleasant for children by providing a distraction from their illness and an opportunity...
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12th annual Radiothon will broadcast live from Driscoll Children's Hospital

March 05, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Friday, March 7, K-99 (KRYS 99.1 FM) will team up with Driscoll Children's Hospital for the 12th annual Radiothon. The one-day event will be broadcasted live from the main lobby at Driscoll Children's Hospital beginning at 6 a.m. Listeners can tune in to hear patients, parents, physicians and staff share inspirational...
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