Teenagers are growing fast and eating us out of house and home! How do we keep them healthy? Let’s take a look.
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Hello, hello. We’re going to talk about teenagers and, exactly, how much should they be eating?
So, to understand this concept, what we first have to look at is what are they eating? What I see a lot of times in my office when teenagers come in it is a high sugar diet, and they’re very rarely getting any sort of protein. So, let’s talk about this physical body for just a moment.
Protein and Carbs
Some of the research that I’ve read is if we weigh 150 pounds, half of that is the amount of protein we need to be eating a day just to function. Just to get up, go to the bathroom, go to school, come back home. Now, protein does not always mean meat. There’s lots of protein in vegetables, but we need to look at how much protein is a child getting– from the beginnings to the end.
So, when we look at growing children, 60% of their plate needs to be a protein-based food. And then that leaves 30% to 40% where we can do carbies. That’s not talking sugar, it’s just talking maybe a little more carby on the vegetables, little more maybe with rice if we’re doing organic rice, but we want to really focus on the proteins and the fats. That’s another aspect that I see teenagers just not eating any of, is good healthy fats. And when we don’t have that in the system, we’re actually craving food all the time because we’re searching for that.
So, that’s something to remember. If your child’s playing sports, so on the other end of the spectrum, if we’re training for the Olympics, you need 100% of your body weight in protein. So, find where your kid is in that spectrum. If they’re playing a lot of sports, they’re always exercising; they’re going to need more protein, more fats than your child who’s maybe not exercising or not playing sports as much.
So just as a general rule of thumb, how much does your child weigh? Split that in half, and then that’s what they need in protein per day.
Soda and Sugar
Now, let’s talk about another subject. What are they drinking? Because if they’re drinking soda, even if it’s diet soda, what we have found is the regular soda spikes the insulin right away, the diet soda takes 30 minutes, but it still spikes your insulin.
So, there’s really no reason to be drinking diet. There’s a lot of reasons not to be drinking diet. But if they’re drinking any sort of sodas, then they’re consistently putting what I call kindling on the fire of growth. They’ve got to have more, they’ve got to have more, they’ve got to have more.
So, you’ve got to stop putting the kindling (the sugar), and you’ve got to put on the logs (which is going to be the protein and fats).
And then the other thing to really look at is vegetables, getting them to eat more of those. And in my household, I have a one-bite rule. And the size of the bite depends on how old they are. So little kids’ tummies are tiny. Teenagers’ tummies are about the size of the fist. So, one bite sometimes is enough to get the nutrient in them and get them started on this path of better eating.
I hope that kind of explains some beginnings for you and your child. Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.