Meal Plan for Adolescents
As your child grows up, they'll move on from following a child's diet, as they are now at an age when more and more food choice is down to them. This plan is therefore aimed both at parents of teenagers who have a responsibility to ensure their adolescent eats a good food, and at teenagers themselves – you may well be searching on the internet for good, healthy meal plans including food choices you like.
Adolescence is characterised from the age of 12 /13 to about 17/18, and in the latter years, the individual can really follow a suitable adult diet according to their needs (see other plans on this site).
However the problem with adolescence is that although children are becoming less finicky, there is increasing emphasis to fend for yourself. Now you're older your parents may work late or leave you home alone for a few days; or you may be out more with friends so need to grab something to eat. The one thing I do urge teenagers to avoid, is junk take-away foods too often; these must really only be very occasional treats.
The following example meal plan has been designed for 'typical' adolescents. Portion sizes may need to be varied between sexes, as boys generally require more than girls, and if you're into sports or heavy physical activities, then you'll need to eat more. The plan below has been compiled to be nutritionally balanced to suit teenagers who are active and accounts for different likes and dislikes.
Use this plan to give you an idea of which healthy nutritious foods are good to include in your diet, but remember to drink plenty of fluids through the day. A good calcium intake is especially important in teenage girls through to the age of about 30 years. Also remember to include sources of essential fats; high protein foods and slow released carb sources.
High fibre cereal (like 2-3 Weetabix, Shreddies or porridge – avoid sugar coated cereal) + skimmed milk (preferably no additional sugar although a very light sprinkling would be acceptable)
2-3 slices granary bread
(toasted) + olive oil based spread + jam / peanut butter
200ml fresh fruit juice
1-2 wholewheat biscuits (e.g. oatcakes
, digestive) or
flapjack commercial / home-made easy flapjack
Sandwich: 2-4 slices wholemeal / granary bread + olive oil based spread + chicken/ham or
tuna in low fat natural yoghurt or
Chopped carrot / cucumber / celery in a bowl
1 square home-made easy flapjack
1-2 wholewheat biscuits (e.g. oatcakes, digestive) or flapjack commercial / home-made easy flapjack
Typical family meal e.g.: 120-150g chicken breast / lean meat / white fish
5-6 tbsp cooked basmati rice or
600g cooked pasta or
potatoes mashed / boiled / jacket
High fibre cereal (like Weetabix, Shreddies or porridge – avoid sugar coated cereal) + skimmed milk
or 2 slices granary bread (toasted) + olive oil based spread + jam / peanut butter
Remember this plan is merely a guide to give you and your teenager an idea of good food choices. Try to eat at similar times of the day, and avoid snacking and binging, but do drink water whenever you're thirsty.
Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.