Underweight teenage girl diet
Underweight adolescent kid diet
Diet for healthy weight gain in teenage girls
Puberty brings a lot of changes in a girl’s body. Some children gain a lot of weight and some seem to be underweight. If your child is amongst the latter, then this article is what you must read.
Reasons of Kids looking underweight during teenage
- Hormonal changes during puberty lead to growth and dramatic slimming in some children
- Rapid growth in height – Quick growth in height during adolescence also leads to kids looking thin
- Emotional or psychological reasons – some girls may undergo emotional stress during this time leading them to not eat well and skipping meals
- Health issues – Children may also lose weight in case they have been unwell
Should you be worried if your child is underweight
In most cases, there is no need to worry in case you find that your child/ girl has lost weight during adolescence. She will soon gain it back. You should feel concerned only if you see that she is overly concerned about her weight or develops eating disorders.
Right diet for Underweight Adolescent, Teenager
I cannot stress enough that it is best to follow a regular homemade, wholesome diet for kids of all ages, but it is even more important for tweens or adolescents as their bodies are changing rapidly and their bodies need good nutrition to deal with this phase. The diet that I follow for my daughter and one which has kept us in good stead in as below:
Breakfast for Healthy Weight Gain in Underweight Teenagers/ TWEEns
Breakfast at this age should be freshly made and full of nutrition, so no box-cereals for them. We have plenty of options of freshly made, home-cooked breakfast options in India, so choose whatever your child and family likes. Some of the options are:
Give a glass of milk along with breakfast and it will keep her full for next couple of hours. Even if she misses a snack in school, it will be enough to tide her through till lunch.
Other than the traditional ways to make these recipes, you may also add millets in her diet.
You can find some simple and nutritious breakfast ideas in below article.
I always pack a snack or give one if my daughter is at home around 10-10:30 am. This is usually some kind of seasonal fruit or a boiled egg or some nuts or a handful of dried fruits, some makhanas roasted in ghee.
For lunch, it is best to stick to traditional Indian lunch combo from whichever part of the country you come from. Some options could be:
- Dal, Vegetable curry, Rice, salad, curd
- Sambhar, Rice, palya, curd rice
- Vegetable curry, dal, roti, salad
- Chicken curry, roti/ rice, salad
- Fish curry rice, salad
Keep note to add a teaspoon of homemade ghee to your girl’s
It is very important to give meals at regular intervals, so one must give a healthy snack in the evening. This snack keeps her energy up till dinner time.
Usual evening snacks that can be given are laddus, nuts, fruit salad, roasted makhanas, roasted peanuts along with a cup of milk. These snacks are full of protein and rich in healthy fats too.
If the child feels more hungry, you may also make a quick sandwich. This will give her enough energy for playtime or all those classes that she wants to go to.
Dinner should again be wholesome and nutritious. A good meal at dinner should be balanced with good amounts of carbohydrates like roti, chapati or rice, vegetable curry, dal/egg/ fish/ chicken for protein as well as some salad.
It is only natural for kids this age to want to eat junk food, so give in to them once in a while but continuous messaging that junk food is only an occasional thing goes a long way. They do not feel deprived, but become responsible eaters.
Many a times, I simple twist the look of the food to make it more appealing for my daughter, for example, if is bored of having roti sabzi, I make a paratha pizza with the same dough and just top it with some of her favourite vegetables like mushroom, corn, tomato etc. along with some cheese and she has it happily.
If she does not want to have rice, I just fry already cooked rice with some vegetables and egg and some sauces to make a fried rice of her choice.
Our favourite way is to wrap the vegetable/chicken curry along with some cheese in a chapati and turn it into a warp/ roll.
These are some simple ways that you can tweak the regular food to make it more appealing for your kid without having to do a lot of effort.
Reasons for Underweight Adolescent, Teenager/ Eating disorders
Adolescence is an age where it is very easy for kids to want junk or want to eat less due to many reasons.
- Junk food is more enticing than healthy food: Let us admit, junk foods are definitely more enticing with their overload of salt, sugars and additives. To an adolescent, who is trying assert her independence in whichever way possible, this is one more way of telling that they can make their own decision and not follow the norm around the house. Junk food like instant noodles are also quick and easy to prepare and they can usually do it themselves.
- Peer pressure : It is very common to feel pressured during this age and kids often copy their friends just to fit in.
- Pressure to look a certain way: Kids of this age become conscious of their bodies and many kids specially girls want to eat less to avoid getting fat.
- Short-term illnesses: Frquent illnesses like common cold and flu ca also lead to sudden weight-loss in adolescent kids.
Hope this article helped you and gave you some ideas to help your adolescent girl through these beautiful years.