As you get older, you’re able to start making a lot of your own decisions. Making healthy decisions about what you eat and drink, how active you are, and how much sleep you get is a great place to start.
- How your body works—How your body uses the food and drinks you consume and how being active may help your body "burn" calories
- How to choose healthy foods and drinks
- How to get moving and stay active
- How getting enough sleep is important to staying healthy
- How to ease into healthy habits and keep them up
- How to plan healthy meals and physical activities that fit your lifestyle
What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is food and other nourishment that we consume for our bodies to grow and to replace and repair tissues. A well-balanced nutritious meal will have the right amount of vitamins and minerals to help you grow optimally. The five food groups are:
You can test your knowledge of the different food groups with this fun quiz!
Plan Ahead for Food Success!
Planning for a nutritious meal takes a lot of effort. Healthy foods and drinks give your body what it needs to give you back lots in return – energy, powerful muscles, and more. Here is an app that can help.
BAM! Dining Decisions App
Download the Dining Decisions game to your iPad, iPhone, or Android device and see how healthy you can make your food plate!
Kendra, our food expert, will help you make smart food choices to stay powered up. Dining Decisions places you in control of your food plate. Decide which foods give you more energy and powerful muscles and which ones are better to eat only sometimes.
Still need more resources? Here is another excellent resource to help you identify your personal eating style.
Strategies for Success
Healthy eating is all about balance. Try some of these ideas to help you reach your health and nutrition goals.
- Eat treats and sweets less often
- Eat smaller amounts or just 1 serving
- Plan when you eat them to prevent over indulgence.
- Try a lower calorie version – Can you make the brownies with less sugar and whole-wheat flour or forgo the frosting on the muffin or cupcake?
- Give up sweets and other indulgences in phases. Phasing out the problem foods in stages will ensure greater success in the long run.
- Explore new foods items. Be creative!
- Help your parents cook so you can participate in meal planning and learn about portion sizes.
- Keep to a regular eating schedule.
- Don’t skip any meals.
- Eat before you get too hungry.
And yes!! Desserts are allowed in healthy eating. Be creative and try some of these recipes.
Read more on healthy meals and options.
Food Labels Matter
Do you know what you are eating? Do you know how much you are eating? Not if you don't read the label! Here are some great resources from the US Food and Drug administration to help you learn more about what's really going on with that food label!
- Watch this video to learn about how to understand serving sizes.
- Where to find relevant nutrition information on labels.
Drinks Count Too!
Staying Hydrated Dos and Don'ts
- Water quenches your thirst without the added sugars and calories.
- Drinking water also helps prevent dental cavities associated with the sugary drinks.
- Milk provides the calcium you need to build strong bones and teeth.
Choose Energy Drinks/Tea/Coffee
- Tea and coffee are fluids, but they are also diuretics, which means you pee more.
- Energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull are filled with sugar and added caffeine.
What you drink makes a difference! Before you decide on your next latte, mocha or Monster drink, consider this.
I Think My Friend May Have an Eating Disorder. What Should I Do?
Adolescents can be susceptible to eating disorders as they go through hormonal changes and puberty. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. If you or someone you know experiences this, it could be a sign of an eating disorder—call a health provider right away for help.
Here are some resources for you to learn more. Remember, always talk with an adult if you have questions about these topics.