Vitamins for teens

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bins of vegetables
Mix in some fruits and vegetables to go with that burrito!
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There are several ways for teens to get the vitamins they need.

Teens are always on the go and no matter how hard a parent tries, teenagers aren't going to eat right every day. They grab fast food on the way to a friend's house or skip breakfast altogether because they are running late. And soft drinks offer no nutritional value at all, but seem to be a staple these days in a teen's diet. And with their bodies changing and growing quickly every day, now is the time to make sure the necessary vitamins for teens are received daily.

If you are concerned about your teen's nutritional health, ask a nutritionist or your doctor about a vitamin supplement for your teen. Supplements do not take the place of a healthy diet, but can assure your child is getting all the daily vitamins they need. Unhealthy diets can lead to decreased energy levels and poor concentration. Be careful your teen doesn't get more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. This offers no additional benefits and may actually be detrimental. Your doctor will know the proper amount of vitamins for teens.  

So how do you know if your teenager is getting adequate nutrition? With a proper diet containing the main food groups, chances are your child is receiving the minerals and vitamins for teens that they need. However, here are some tips to help encourage your teen to eat healthier and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

Set a good example at home - Make sure you are preparing healthy meals and eating right yourself. If possible, even with hectic schedules, sit down and eat a meal together. This is a great time to slow down, enjoy great food and reconnect with your family. Limit fried foods and try steaming or broiling meats and vegetables instead.

Don't stock up on quick junk food in the home - It's easy to grab cookies or a bag of chips when your teen is on the way out of the door or just returning home from school. Keep plenty of nutritional snack food on hand instead.  If nutritional snacks are quick and handy, there is a good possibility they will reach for them because there isn't much preparation involved! Granola bars, dried fruits, yogurts and baked potatoes are great examples. 

Encourage them to pick and help prepare a meal at home. Get your teen involved in selecting and planning a meal for the family. Vegetable pizzas, stir fry, and fajitas are actually good sources of nutrition. They are loaded with vegetables, but your teen won't even notice. Sandwiches made with lean cuts of meat, cheese, lettuce or sprouts covers several food groups as well.

The proper nutrition and vitamins for teens are essential at a time when your child is growing and developing. Help them make wise choices now so it carries over into their adult lives. There may be some truth to the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

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