September 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Health Blog

Quite dramatic physical changes take place in the body during adolescence. The most extreme of which usually occur between the ages of 15 to 18 years old. The recommended food energy requirements for boys during these years, is proportionately higher than it is for girls due to the boys greater rate of growth. Girl’s food energy needs, on the other hand, decrease during the 15 to 18 year old period, compared to her requirements during the 11 to 15 year age group. This reduction in kilojoules is based on the increased fat deposits that take place during these latter years.

teenagersSnack foods play a large role in a teenager’s diet. Unhealthy foods are repeatedly promoted by the media which ultimately has an impact on what many teenagers eat on a regular basis. This is particularly relevant when the teenager has irregular schedules and/or they are not offered a choice of healthy foods.

Healthy adolescents have voracious appetites. This is mainly due to their rapid growth rate and their high level of activity, unless they are couch potatoes. Consequently, to meet their growth requirements, most teens feel the need to snack regularly throughout the day. However, those that are deficient in nutrients are less likely to be able to satisfy their hunger.


There is a wide variety of foods that are both tasty and nutritious and it’s best to ensure that the food that teens get to choose from at home is always nutrient-rich, and as natural as possible, compared to highly-processed, high carbohydrate snack foods such as cereals, muesli bars, crackers and other unhealthy choices. These types of foods are more likely to cause excess weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, acne, anxiety, insomnia, nutritional deficiencies and other health problems.


Hard boiled eggs, raw nuts and seeds, fresh fruit, vegetable sticks such as carrot and celery with hummus dip or mashed avocado, quark with grapes, sardines or salmon on rice cakes, baked potato with hummus and baked beans, berries with a small amount of natural yogurt, and grains like quinoa which can be made into a porridge (see recipe below).



Nutrients that are often lacking in teenager’s diets include zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C and D, the B vitamins and essential fatty acids. However, consult your Naturopath or Doctor for individual nutritional advice before giving your children supplements. 




1/2 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups almond milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and measure in the quinoa. Season with cinnamon and cook until toasted, stirring frequently, about 3 mins.  Pour in the almond milk, water and vanilla and stir in the honey. Bring to the boil, then cook over low heat until the porridge is thick and grains are tender, about 25 minutes. Add more water if needed if the liquid has dried up before it finishes cooking. Stir occasionally, especially at the end, to prevent burning.

Once cooked, try adding a dessertspoon of LSA mix to the porridge and/or chopped apple, banana, walnuts, dates, sultanas, chia seeds or chopped sunflower seeds and almonds and, if they still find this to be too bland, you can add a small amount of honey or Agave nectar.



Remove the core from an apple and fill with raisins or currants and cinnamon and a tiny amount of maple syrup or ricotta cheese and place in an oven-proof bowl. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes.




2 cups of blueberries – fresh or frozen

½ cup of water

2 ½ cups of almond flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

½ cup of honey

3 eggs


1. Heat oven to 160 C. Line a muffin tin with large baking cups.

2. Simmer blueberries with water until berries release their juice and the mixture has thickened slightly. Let cool.

3. Combine almond flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

4. Combine blueberries, vanilla, honey and eggs in another bowl.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

6. Evenly fill each baking cup with the batter.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.



2 cups amaranth or quinoa, cooked

1 cup apple juice

½ cup raisins

½ cup almonds, finely chopped

1 ½ tsp vanilla

Juice of ½ lemon

Grated rind of one lemon

Dash of cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a large sauce pan, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour pudding into individual dessert bowls. Top with a few grapes or strawberries and chill.



Remember, it’s up to the parents to set good examples for their teenagers when it comes to healthy eating and it’s also the parents that do the grocery shopping, so try to ensure the cupboards and fridge are full of healthy foods that will help your kids grow into healthy adults.  Healthy parents usually = Healthy kids!


Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO
Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher
Specializing in Anxiety & Depression | Women’s Health | Chronic Fatigue | Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Autoimmune Disease | Genetic Polymorphisms & Nutrigenomics (Pyroluria/MTHFR) | Nutritional Medicine | Counselling | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention with a Clinical Focus on Identifying & Resolving the Underlying Causes of Symptoms and Disease. 
Earth Medicine TM
Email: [email protected]

‘Helping you resolve your health problems and achieve optimal wellness, hormonal balance and disease prevention with personalised, professional naturopathic health care, clinical pathology testing and individually-prescribed high-quality herbal medicines and supplements and the correct eating plan’  


Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please note: I am not a medical practitioner.



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