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Tweens grow up very fast and they need proper diet to grow. Tweens have heightened energy , sprinting from one place to another so their body have different nutrition requirements .However, many tweens eat unhealthy diet .Therefore, it is vital to know the nutrition mistakes made by tweens.
Low on calcium
Tweens consume half the daily recommended amount of calcium. As they are notorious and are not into the habit of drinking enough milk. Perhaps they don’t like the taste of it, or maybe it’s the smell that bothers them.Parents should encourage the kids to take calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Tofu is also rich in calcium. To make it fun for kids, allow them to make their yoghourt smoothies under parent supervision. This will encourage them to consume what they make on their own .
Too many calories
Tween is a growing age and need more calories .Added sugars in many food items have been the main reason for too many calories in tweens. Juices, sweets, and sugar drinks ,packaged milk and sugary cereal, that most people deem healthy, also has too many calories due to high sugar content.Parents should offer their kids fresh water and milk, as it provides other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Leaving out whole grains
White bread is widely consumed in many households. Parents should consider buying whole-grain bread and avoid the consumption of refined products such as white rice, corn flakes, refined grains, pretzels, and more. Whole grain products include rolled oats, barley, and wild rice. Try including them in daily cooking food. Choices like brown rice, whole-grain spaghetti, and macaroni will be a good addition to the diet. There are also many whole grain snacks available that can interest kids in trying healthy foods.
Eat healthy even when busy
Tweens are always running from activity to activity and often grab whatever is available right in front of them. So stock their pantry with healthy snacks and fruits and vegetables that are ready to go. Make sure the kids have easy access to the snacks. The healthy snacks may include yoghourt, nuts, fruits, rice cake, dried fruits, whole grain cereals, carrot sticks, celery sticks, peanut butter, and low-fat popcorn. Regardless of their busy schedule, you should make an effort in making room for family mealtimes as time spent with family is also very important.
Teaching what they need
Educate your tweens on what they should eat and how to stay healthy and make healthy choices in foods. On average a tween should consume approximately 1,800 calories per day and should eat 6 ounces of grains (preferably whole wheat), vegetables, fruit, of milk or dairy, and 5 ounces of beans or meat.
Tweens are known for being picky eaters but this is the stage where they learn to make good decisions and healthy choices. At times it is often hard to recommend to them what to eat. If the parents are sceptical about their kid’s diet then they should always ask a paediatrician about nutritional supplements.
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Do read my previous article in these series of : “Parenting TweenS”