Teens have more success with weight loss when they have family support.
If your teen is overweight, helping her trim down can boost both her health and her self-esteem. Rather than being allowed to follow complicated or risky diets, teenagers should be taught healthy eating habits that focus on reducing sugar, fat and fast foods, increasing fiber and lean protein intake and practicing portion control, according to GirlsHealth.gov. With 1,500 calories per day, your teen has plenty of nutritious options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that satisfy.
Teens Need a Nutritious Breakfast
A nutrition-packed breakfast provides energy for your teen and may help prevent overeating the rest of the day, suggests Mayo Clinic. Breakfast is a great time of day to help teens meet their daily requirement for vitamin A, which they need for healthy vision, the B vitamins for energy and metabolism and vitamin C to support the immune system. Plan on around 350 calories for breakfast.
Some options for breakfast meals include:
- One container of low-fat Greek yogurt with 1 ounce of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of raspberries plus one large hard-boiled egg = 364 calories
- An omelette made with two large eggs, 1 ounce cheddar cheese, 1 cup of spinach, plus 1 cup of mixed berries = 350 calories
Protein-Packed Lunches for Recharging
Lunchtime offers a chance for your child to refuel with energy to last until dinnertime. Lean protein and healthy fats for satiety and complex carbs for energy will help her power through the day. Plan on 450 calories for lunch.
Healthy nutrient-rich lunch options include:
- A turkey sandwich with 4 ounces of sliced turkey breast, two pieces of whole grain bread, one third of an avocado and lettuce plus carrot and celery sticks with 2 tablespoons of hummus and one large tangerine = 445 calories
- A southwestern veggie hummus wrap with one whole-wheat tortilla, 2 tablespoons black-bean hummus, one fourth of an avocado, 1 ounce cheddar cheese, red bell pepper strips, chopped roma tomatoes and spinach plus one small apple = 475 calories
Serve a Well-Rounded Dinner
Load up on fresh vegetables and lean protein at dinner to get all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber your teen needs. A nutritious dinner will help her concentrate on homework without hunger and get a restful night's sleep. Plan on 500 to 550 calories for the dinner meal.
- Veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with one slice of cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato plus 1 ounce of baked sweet potato fries = 513 calories
- Chicken and cashew stir-fry with 3 ounces of skinless chicken breast, 1 cup of broccoli, 1 ounce raw cashews, cooked in 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil and served over 1/2 cup of long-grain brown rice = 512 calories
Save Room for Snacks
It's a good idea to leave room for snacking or the occasional treat. If hunger strikes after school, a piece of fruit or a few whole-grain crackers with a tablespoon of nut butter will provide an additional 75 to 150 calories. A sweet treat after dinner, such as 1/2 cup of low-fat frozen yogurt or Greek yogurt with raspberries and a drizzle of dark chocolate will tack on close to 200 calories.