Teen Nutrition 13-19 years

Teens grow rapidly and become more independent on their food choices. However, family continues to play a crucial role in shaping ideas around body image and food.  Here are some tips for families to support teens in developing skills to keep a healthy lifestyle for life.

Nutrition Notes for Teens

  • Get teens cooking! Preparing meals teaches teenagers important planning and food skills. See Eat Right Ontario for the top 10 tips to get teens cooking.   
  • Despite their growing independence, family meals continue to be important for teenagers. Teens who eat with their families do better in all ways (nutritionally, socially and academically). Turn off the TV and use mealtimes to communicate and connect as a family. For more information check out the resources below.
  • As children grow into teens, their bodies change and they may become more preoccupied with their appearance, feeling a need to “fit in”. It is important to promote a healthy body image from an early age. Explain that bodies come in all shapes and talk about the unrealistic images in the media. Celebrate your child’s uniqueness and achievements. Be a positive role model: only make positive comment about your own body and have zero tolerance for put downs in your family. For more information see Eat Right Ontario
  • Participation in physical activity and sports helps teens stay healthy, build confidence and gain self esteem. For more information on how to fuel a young athlete see Dietitians of Canada. For some physical activity tips for teens click here.  Sport drinks and protein supplements are common among teens, but not required. For more information see the Wave article: To Supplement or not to supplement?.
  • Energy drinks are beverages that claim to stimulate energy when consumed. These drinks contain large amounts of caffeine and other ingredients that claim to be energy inducing. These drinks are not safe for teenagers. For more information see Dietitians of Canada.

Nutrition Resources For Teens

In Your Community:

Find a dietitian

For more information:

Wave: To Supplement or not to supplement?

Wave: No Meat No Worries: A vegetarian diet can provide all the nutrient a teenager needs to maintain good health

Wave: Power Up Fruits and Veggies offer Teens Fuel for the Fire

Dietitians of Canada

Ellyn Satter: Family meals

Ellyn Satter: Feeding Teens

Eat Right Ontario


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