Teenage years are a time when teens experience growth spurts and puberty. Dietitian Ethel Lim, from the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at KK Women’s and Children's Hospital (KKH), shares the right foods to eat during this time.
The adolescent and teenage years are a critical period of time when teens go through puberty and experience growth spurts. It is also during this period of time when teenagers have increased autonomy over their food choices.
“Encouraging your teen to opt for balanced, regular meals not only helps to ensure adequate nutrition, but also to make appropriate food choices. Teenagers who are active in sport will also usually have higher nutritional requirements,” says Dietitian Ethel Lim, from the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at KK Women’s and Children's Hospital (KKH), a member of the
Teenagers 13 to 18 Years: What to Eat in a Day?
The table below displays the recommended number of servings of each food group for an average teenager throughout the day:
|Brown rice and |
|6 - 7|
2 slices bread (60g)
½ medium bowl rice, pasta or noodles (100g)
4 plain biscuits (40g)
1 thosai (60g)
2 small chapatis (60g)
1 large potato (180g)
1½ cups plain cornflakes (40g)
1 small apple, orange, pear or mango (130g)
1 wedge pineapple, papaya, watermelon (130g)
10 grapes or longans (50g)
1 medium banana
¾ cup or 5 tbsp or ¼ plate cooked leafy or non-leafy vegetables (100g)
150g raw leafy vegetables
100g raw non-leafy vegetables
1 palm-sized piece fish, lean meat or skinless poultry (90g
2 small blocks soft beancurd (170g)
¾ cup cooked pulses (120g)
5 medium prawns (90g)
|Dairy or |
2 glasses milk (500ml)
2 slices cheese (40g)
Teenagers 13 to 18 years: What can I eat to grow taller?
Height growth is influenced by many factors, predominantly genetics and biological determinants, such as hormones. Among the environmental factors that may affect height, diet is one that plays a role too.
A well-balanced diet consisting of a variety of foods from each of the main food groups (i.e. wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, meat, etc) will assist in maximising your nutritional status and facilitate growth.
Is there a ‘best/ideal’ diet plan for teenage boys and girls at age 14 and age 17?
There is no ‘best/ideal’ diet plan for teenage boys and girls. Eating a variety of foods from all the major food groups remains an important factor in ensuring a balanced diet.
There are different requirements for different age groups and heights, which should also fit into an individual’s lifestyle. The recommended servings of each food group for teenagers (13-18 years) remain as above.