It’s not always easy to practice healthy eating. Teens don’t always have control over what food is available at home or school. You do have some control over your food choices, so it’s important to focus on what you can change, not what you can’t. That’s called “empowerment.” So get empowered and check out some of these healthy eating tips and handouts to jumpstart your journey to a healthier YOU!
Introduction to Eating Balanced Meals
The foods and beverages you consume affect your energy and how you feel. So it’s really important to fuel your body with balanced meals. Eating balanced requires an understanding of the 3 different forms of fuel we eat; proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (carbs).
Protein comes from any food that walked, swam, or flew before it got to you—poultry, seafood, meats, eggs, and dairy products—as well as plant-based foods like soy and beans.
Fat sources include vegetable oils, nuts, nut butters, dressings, and spreads. Animal sources of food also contain fat (unless removed like the skin on chicken or turkey).
Carbs are found in grains and starches (like wheat, corn, potato), vegetables, fruits and dairy.
Balanced eating involves choosing a combination of the healthiest proteins, fats, and carbs. The healthiest proteins are beans, legumes, soy (tofu, edamame), low-fat dairy, eggs, seafood, skinless poultry, and occasionally lean red meats. Baking, steaming, broiling and stir-frying are the healthiest cooking methods- avoid deep fried proteins!
The healthiest fats are those found in vegetable oils (olive, canola), trans-fat free spreads, light dressings, unsalted nuts, and fatty fish like salmon.
Healthy carbs are less processed meaning they contain more fiber, very little (if any) added sugar, and no trans-fats. Options include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa, and 100% whole grain breads, crackers and cereals.
Eating balanced provides greater energy and a happier mood throughout your day — check out this guide to understand why.
The Center for Youth Wellness Library of Healthy Eating Guides
- Being supermarket smart is necessary for bringing balanced eating into the home! The Grocery Shopping Guide helps you restock your fridge with delicious, nutritious foods.
- Confused as to which yogurt, cereal or bread is better? With so many choices, it’s hard to choose. When you Read Nutrition Labels you can compare products and find a nutritious winner.
- Once you’ve brought super healthy foods into your home, balanced eating reminds us to eat just what our bodies need. Maintain a healthy weight and avoid feeling sluggish with these “handy” tips on Portion Control.
- Show your family that mealtime can be tasty and affordable. Check out the Family Meals Guide for a super tasty and cost-saving turkey cheeseburger, sweet potato fry and veggie dinner sure to impress and satisfy everyone.
- Not sure which beverages are fine to drink all the time, sometimes or once in a while? Review our Beverage Chart to find out.
- Once in a while everyone goes out to eat. But, fast food can be high in calories, unhealthy fat, and sugar; a combination that can leave you feeling sluggish and stuffed. The Fast Food Guide gives some tasty options at your favorite fast food restaurants.
Don’t Become Discouraged: You Are Not Alone
Remember, improving your eating is a journey. There might be bumps and detours along the way, but don’t get discouraged. Take small steps because every little change towards a healthier lifestyle counts. Remember to sit down, slow down, and savor the flavor of your food! If you are struggling, contact us for an appointment to develop a nutrition/wellness plan specifically for you.
To make an appointment, please call: 617-636-3381.
The information and referenced materials contained herein is intended solely for the reader’s information, is not intended as a prescription for a diet, and should be utilized only with the guidance of the patient’s physician or dietitian.
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