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Feeding teenage girls

Posted on : 19-04-2010 | By : Cindy | In : Teenagers


Here’s the next part of a story I wrote recently for the New Zealand Healthy Food Guide. This looks at some of the issues teenage girls have to deal with.

“I’m fat.”

Compared to boys, teenage girls are more likely to struggle with their maturing body. Recently released results based on the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey found that one-third of 9-13 year-old-girls were overweight. The figures are probably similar in New Zealand with the 2006-2007 New Zealand Health Survey finding that almost one-third of children up to the age of 14 were overweight or obese. One of the key differences between overweight and non-overweight teenage girls seems to be the amount of fruit and vegetables they eat each day. The more fruit and vegetables eaten, the less room for high kilojoule fizzy drinks and snack foods. As teenage girls become concerned about their appearance and body shape, negatively comparing themselves to the air-brushed images on TV, movies, billboards, and magazines, they may restrict the food they eat and increase their risk of nutrient deficiencies, especially calcium and iron.

Feeding teenage boys

Posted on : 10-04-2010 | By : Cindy | In : Teenagers


A few weeks ago I was having coffee with some of the girls I swim with. One of them asked, “Is butter chicken OK for my teenage boy? He’s so hungry all the time. It’s so hard to think of what to feed him.” Butter chicken isn’t the ideal food for anyone to fill up on. It’s more an occasional food. But what can we feed our teenage boys? Here’s part of a story I wrote for the New Zealand Healthy Food Guide earlier this year.

Teenage boys eat lots. Their body needs it for its rapid growth and to provide energy for all the activity they do. During teenage years almost half the adult skeleton is formed so they need plenty of bone building calcium – almost double their childhood needs. Muscles are growing and the brain is developing, especially the frontal lobe which is responsible for logical thinking, helping control emotions and thinking through the consequences of actions.

Feeding teenagers – ideas for the pantry and fridge

Posted on : 08-04-2010 | By : Cindy | In : Teenagers


In the pantry

  • Bananas
  • Cartons of fruit salad
  • Pita bread for pizza
  • Bagels
  • Wholemeal bread rolls
  • Dried fruit
  • Raw, unsalted nuts
  • Scroggin – mix dried fruit, nuts and chocolate pieces
  • Popcorn
  • Jars of pasta sauce
  • Pasta
  • Baked beans
  • Small cans tuna
  • Small cans salmon
  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals
  • Cans reduced fat creamed rice
  • Potatoes – for microwaving
  • Milo

In the fridge

  • Milk – for smoothies and on cereal
  • Cartons of low fat chocolate milk
  • Flavoured soy drink
  • Hummus
  • Eggs – some raw, some hard boiled for snacks and filled rolls
  • Up & Go
  • Cartons of low fat yoghurt
  • Low fat custard
  • Fruit salad – Cut up fruit such as pineapple and melon. Mix with grapes and store in container.

On the 10th day of Christmas: Order your teenager an e-cookbook

Posted on : 22-12-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Recommended web places, Teenagers




“If your grandmother wouldn’t recognise it don’t eat too much of it.” This is one of the teen-speak gems on ‘It’s my turn to cook’ – an e-cookbook launched this week by Claire Gourley and her mum. It could be just the thing for a last minute Christmas present for that hard-to-buy-for teen. It has simple recipes, demos of the difficult bits, healthy eating tips and all the techno stuff that teens are into. Who knows… it might help them into the kitchen and out of the burger bar. As Claire says, “Fact: too much junk food gives you a big bum”!