Westlake Wellness- Food for Fuel

By Technology teacher, Elizabeth Beaumont

Food is delicious, and eating food is one of our most common social activities and essential for survival.

Adolescents have very specific food requirements to enable them to get the nutrients they need to grow and develop into healthy adults. Nutrients are not only required for fuel but also for muscle development, blood formation, the building of strong bones and teeth, and the production of all those adolescent hormones.

Identifying, purchasing, preparing, and consuming foods that meet these requirements is an important skill for adolescents to learn. It can benefit long-term health, potentially preventing some illnesses and diseases later in life.

Fresh vegetables and fruit

These provide energy, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.  Regularly eat a variety of colours of fruit and vegetables to get the benefit of the different nutrients they provide.

Fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, and meat

Proteins are the building blocks of body tissue. Eating protein is essential to gaining the full range of amino acids for growth and development. Foods rich in protein often also contain other valuable nutrients, such as chickpeas, which are rich in fibre, and meat, which contains iron.

Calcium-rich products

Calcium-rich products such as dairy and almonds provide the nutrient calcium needed to build strong bones and teeth. Low-fat versions are best for adolescents; remember, one ice cream scoop counts as a calcium serving!

Whole grain breads/cereals

These are an excellent source of slow-release energy in the form of complex carbohydrates. Whole-grain versions also provide fibre and some vitamins and minerals.