Essential nutrients kids need for growth during adolescence - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Essential nutrients kids need for growth during adolescence

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Other than when they're babies, kids grow more during adolescence than any other period of their lives.

 

According to new reports, teens in the U.S. are deficient in many of the vitamins and minerals needed to maximize that growth. 

 

Hitting that final growth spurt is something 11 and 12 year olds will do without much thought but what they put into their bodies now and during the next few years will definitely have an impact.

 

13 year old Caroline Stone said, "I like any type of pasta and I like most fruits."

 

"I like potatoes," said 12 year old Jaclyn Pugh.  "And I know this is weird but I like green beans a lot."

 

10 years old Ethan Strauss shared his favorites.  "I'd probably say macaroni and chicken."

 

"I like spaghetti and I like tacos," shared 11 year old Carly Hugg.

 

11 year old Margeaux McCastlain said, "Probably bananas and a lot of fruits and stuff."

 

Even though healthy eating is something kids hear a lot about these days, teenagers are surprisingly deficient in several nutrients.  Ashley O'Roark, a dietician at Arkansas Children's Hospital says American teens fall short in several areas.

 

Studies show they aren't getting enough vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, iron, zinc, vitamin D and calcium.  The Department of Agriculture says 86% of teen girls and 64% of teen boys are calcium deficient.

 

"If they don't have that adequate calcium intake and vitamin D intake, then they're not going to reach their peak bone mass.  Later on that can cause osteoporosis and osteopenia and can actually delay some of their growth overall," said O'Roark.

 

She recommends teens and preteens drink four glasses of milk a day.  It's something parents used to serve regularly at family meal times, but with the growing popularity of sports drinks and flavored waters, it's rare to find many kids who drink it on a daily basis.

 

"I think I'm kind of unusual.  I don't think many of my friends like milk very much.  I like milk," said Jaclyn.

 

"I drink milk sometimes, but probably mostly water," admitted Caroline.

 

Serving milk and calcium rich foods to your kids also ensures they will build the bone mass they need for the rest of their life.  That's especially important because after the age of 19, their bone mass stops developing.

 

"The window closes and they can no longer build their bone mass," said O'Roark.  "So it's important to encourage girls that this is a time to build bone mass and then you get older and in your 20's you're kind of stuck with what you have."

 

Giving your kids a multi-vitamin and calcium supplements is a good way to ensure your kids are getting what they need.  However, if you see their growth leveling off, you need to see your pediatrician.

 

O'Roark said, "What we want for kids to do is to follow their growth chart for height, weight and BMI, so if we do see them start to fall off of their growth curve that can tell us that they've stunted their growth through their nutrition intake."

 

If you're looking for a good sample diet to follow for your teen or tween, O'Roark suggests the following:

 

Fruit or 100% Fruit Juice, fresh, canned, frozen, or dried:

Children 

2-3 years old  1 cup

4-8 years old  1 to 1 ½ cups

Girls 

9-13 years old  1 ½ cups

14-18 years old   1 ½ cups

 

Boys 

9-13 years old  1 ½ cups

14-18 years old  2 cups

 

 

Vegetables or Vegetable Juice, raw, cooked, fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated

Children 

2-3 years old  1 cup

4-8 years old   1 ½ cups

Girls 

9-13 years old  2 cups

14-18 years old   2 ½ cups

Boys 

9-13 years old  2 ½ cups

14-18 years old  3 cups

 

Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Beans and Peas, Eggs, Processed soy Products, Nuts, and Seeds

Children 

2-3 years old  2 ounces

4-8 years old   4 ounces

Girls 

9-13 years old  5 ounces

14-18 years old   5 ounces

Boys 

9-13 years old  5 ounces

14-18 years old  6 ½ ounces

 

Wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain, Whole Grain, Refined Grain

Children 

2-3 years old  1 ½ ounces

4-8 years old   2 ½ ounces

Girls 

9-13 years old  3 ounces

14-18 years old  3 ounces

Boys 

9-13 years old  3 ounces

14-18 years old  4 ounces

 

Fluid Milk Products or  Foods Made From Milk

Children 

2-3 years old  2 cups

4-8 years old   2 ½ cups

Girls 

9-13 years old  3 cups

14-18 years old  3 cups

Boys 

9-13 years old  3 cups

14-18 years old  4 cups

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