Twelve year olds are at a unique stage in life. They’re still children, but they’re also growing into their teen years. This means that their diet is changing, and they’re beginning to develop their own likes and dislikes in terms of food. As such, parents and guardians of 12 year olds should be aware of what kind of nutrition their children need, and what types of food they enjoy eating.
Fruits and Vegetables
Like all age groups, 12 year old children should be encouraged to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are important for a growing body. 12 year olds should have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This can be in the form of smoothies, salads, or simply eating fruit or vegetables on their own.
Whole grains are important for 12 year olds as they provide fiber and other essential nutrients. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, oats, quinoa, and whole wheat bread. Whole grains should make up about half of a 12 year old’s daily carbohydrate intake. Whole grains can be eaten in the form of breakfast cereals, sandwiches, and other recipes.
Protein is an essential part of a 12 year old’s diet. Protein helps build and maintain muscle mass, and is important for growth. Good sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, dairy products, beans, and nuts. Protein should make up about 10-15% of a 12 year old’s daily calorie intake.
Fat is an important part of a healthy diet for 12 year olds. Not all fat is bad for you, and some types of fat can provide essential vitamins and minerals. Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil, should make up about 25-35% of a 12 year old’s daily calorie intake. Unhealthy fats, such as those found in processed foods and fast food, should be avoided.
Snacks can be an important part of a 12 year old’s diet. Snacks provide energy and nutrients between meals. Healthy snack options for 12 year olds include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, yogurt, and popcorn. Unhealthy snack options, such as candy, chips, and sodas, should be avoided.
12 year olds should drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water helps keep the body hydrated and helps keep energy levels up. Fruit juices, vegetable juices, and other beverages can also be enjoyed in moderation. Sugary drinks, such as sodas and sports drinks, should be avoided.
Parents and guardians of 12 year olds should be aware that each child is different. Some may be picky eaters, while others may have food allergies or dietary restrictions. It is important to take these individual needs into consideration when planning meals and snacks for 12 year olds.
All 12 year olds should be encouraged to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. Snacks can also be part of a healthy diet, as long as they are chosen wisely. Parents and guardians should also be aware of their child’s individual needs, such as allergies or dietary restrictions. By following these guidelines, 12 year olds can maintain a healthy diet and get the nutrition they need to grow.