To ensure proper nutrition for teens, school meals usually served lunch and some schools also serve breakfast before classes begin in the mornings. The purpose is to guarantee proper nutrition for teens, so that they may learn more efficiently.
Some schools have theme days when food is served in certain ways. For instance, some schools might serve Chinese food to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Others may have weekly themes, such as “Taco Tuesdays”, or “Pizza Friday” at the end of the week.
President Truman created the National School Lunch Program back in 1946 when he turned the National School Lunch Act into official Law. The National School Lunch Program is a federal nutrition program implemented in over 100,000 schools and it currently provides nutritionally balanced (low cost or free lunches) to more than 30 million American children each school day. School meals must also meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which say that no more than 30% of a person’s calories come from fat and less than 10% from saturated fat.
They also establish a standard for school lunches to provide proper nutrition for teens: 1/3 of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. School meals are increasingly having more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low fat dairy. Sustained efforts such as the Local School Wellness Policies required by the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act have brought parents, students and the school community all together to promote proper nutrition for teens in schools and increased physical activities in school curricula.
The most important aspect of proper nutrition for teens is that it is, truly healthy. They need a lot of calories and nutrients, mostly calcium and iron, which are vital for their overall growth and development. On average, girls need between 1,800 and 2,100 calories a day, whereas boys need between 2,200 and 2,700 calories daily. It may sound like a lot, but teens are growing a lot and their bodies need fuel to support healthy growth and to get them through their hectic schedules.
It’s unrealistic to believe that teens will only choose healthy foods all the time, but there are some rules you can come up with to encourage proper nutrition for teens. Even vegetarians sometimes eat junk food. Make sure they understand what proper nutrition for teens means and teach them how to make better choices.
First, eliminate the junk food in your house and with no junk food around, you will all make healthier choices. Never skip breakfast and make sure to include some kind of protein for energy. It is also good to include some complex carbohydrates and a piece of fruit or fruit juice. Encourage kids to eat a healthy lunch and prepare them a brown-bag lunch loaded with fruit, vegetables, complex carbs and lean protein. Also, make sure you have enough healthy snacks in the house for after-school time.
In the evening, try to meet for dinner. Research shows that teenagers who eat with their families tend to have healthier diets when they become grown ups and they also smoke and drink less than others; besides, girls who eat regular with their families, experience less eating disorders. You can prepare a healthy supper with good lean protein, whole grains, some vegetables and something fruit-based for dessert.