Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Healthy lifestyles food/sport during adolescence


A major growth spurt occurs during adolescence with girls starting earlier, usually between seven and ten with boys later ten to fourteen. Teenage boys can grow as much as 9cm a year and girls 8cm a year.
This is also the time when children are most influenced by TV ads, and by peer pressure. Protein is important for growth, as are fresh fruit and vegetables. The rapid increase in bone mass at this stage means calcium-rich foods are particularly valuable-cheese, milk etc] in fact the need for calcium is higher for teenagers than for any other age group.
Boys need about 1,000mg a day, girls 800mg. This can be supplied by a glass of semi-skimmed milk, pot of yogurt and some broccoli. For girls calcium is important because if they don’t build up their calcium reserves now, they suffer osteoporosis in later life.
Girls also need more iron once they start menstruating , this is found in red meat, fortified breakfast cereals, green vegetables and dried fruit. Vitamin C is also essential for iron absorbtion.
Food and Behaviour
I believe there is a definite connection between food and childrens behaviour, and although this is only anecdotal, do we really need to have everything explained by science.
There is mounting evidence from parents, teachers, nutritionists and doctors –that sugar and fat-rich foods and a shortage of fresh foods are linked to ill-discipline, disruption and the numbers of children described as Hyperactive or diagnosed with attention deficit disorders.

Breakfasts
Breakfast is the most important meal of all, acting as a kick-start to the day. Youngsters who eat a good breakfast are able to concentrate better in the morning, and school timetables should be designed to take advantage of this. More academic subjects should be concentrated at this time, with sport/art etc in the afternoon.


Children are hungry in the mornings after a nights fast, so breakfast should consist of something substantial, which is full of nutrients. Natural bio-live yoghurt with some chopped up fruit is nutritious, my own children enjoy toast, butter, honey/jam-home made. When time is with us boiled or poached eggs

John Slade

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