Home / Vitamins For All Ages / Vitamins For Teens
Adolescents need plenty of vitamins and minerals during their growth spurt. For girls, this generally occurs around 10 to 11 years of age, while for boys it occurs later, at around 12 to 13 years. Nutritional and energy needs at this time are greater than at any other time of life, except during pregnancy and breast feeding.
As an adolescent goes through physical and biochemical changes, there is an increased need for certain vitamins. The following vitamins play significant roles:
Throughout adolescence, the occurrence of inadequate diets is higher than in any other stage of development. The following has been found in relation to teenagers nutrient intake.
Adolescence is a time of increased vitamin and mineral need and it is also a time when adolescents are prone to developing poor eating habits. It is recommended that in addition to tyring to eat a healthy diet that teenagers take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement. The supplement should contain at least the following:
|Vitamin A||500 - 1,200I Us|
|Vitamin B1(thaimin)||2 - 10 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||2 -1 0 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||2 - 15 mg|
|Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)||10 - 25 mcg|
|Vitamin C||25 - 150 mg|
|Vitamin E d-Alpha||10 - 50 IUs|
|Biotin||20- 50 mcg|
|Calcium Pantothenate (B5)||30 - 60 mg|
|Choline||5 - 15 mg|
|Bioflavonoids||5 - 25mg|
|Folic Acid||50 - 100 mcg|
|Nicotinic acid||5 - 10 mg|
|Nicotinamide||10 - 20 mg|
|Beta-carotene||2 - 5 mg|
|Iodine (from Kelp)||10 - 25 mcg|
|Calcium (element)||50 - 150 mg|
|Chromium||20 - 30 mcg|
|Iron (element)||2 - 3 mg|
|Magnesium (element)||20 - 60 mg|
|Selenium (element)||10 - 25 mcg|
|zinc (element)||2 - 4 mg|
Adolescents are becoming more independent and making many food decisions on their own. Adolescents tend to eat more meals away from home than younger children. They are also heavily influenced by their peers.
Meal convenience is important to many adolescents and they may be eating too much of the wrong types of food (such as, soft drinks, fast-food and processed foods).
Further, a common concern of many adolescents is dieting. Girls may feel pressure from peers to be thin and to limit what they eat. Both boys and girls may diet to 'make weight' and 'look good' for a particular sporting or social event. So we need to try to encourage a healthy weight, making food choices that are healthy and being involved in some physical activity each day.
The following are some tips to help adolescents develop healthy eating habits:
Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.
Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.
Elliot, N. 2004, Green Peace. Practical Parenting.
Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.
Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.
Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.
Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.