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. Those active in sport will also usually have higher nutritional requirements,” says Senior Principal Dietitian Christine Ong, from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, KK Women’s and Children's Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group.

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:

​Food GroupsRecommended number of serving for teenagers (ages 13-18 years) to eat in a day​​Examples of serving sizes
Brown rice and
Wholemeal bread
Wholemeal bread
​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)
​Fruit
Banana
​2
​1 small apple, orange, pear or mango (130g)
1 wedge pineapple, papaya, watermelon (130g)
10 grapes or longans (50g)
1 medium banana
Vegetables
Leafy Vegetables
​2
​¾ cup or 5 tbsp or ¼ plate cooked leafy or non-leafy vegetables (100g)
150g raw leafy vegetables
100g raw non-leafy vegetables

Meat and
Alternatives

Salmon

2

​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
Calcium-containing foods
Milk
​1
​2 glasses milk (500ml)
2 slices cheese (40g) 

Teenagers 13 to 18 years: What to 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 & others) will assist in maximizing your nutritional status and facilitate growth.

Is there a ‘best/ideal’ diet plan for teenage boys or girls during secondary school and junior college/poly years?

There is no ‘best/ideal’ diet plan for teenage boys and girls. A variety of food from all 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 each individual’s lifestyle. Recommended servings of each food group for teenagers (13-18 years) remain as above. 

Ref: N18