Parents are often surprised by the high energy needs of teen girls. This is especially true for those faced with restoring a malnourished teen’s weight.
But even parents of healthy teens can become confused about what is “normal” in a culture where dieting is pervasive.
This is what normal teen eating looked for this 16 year-old teen on one day. She was out of the house, walked about 2 to 3 miles, and got to choose all of her food. This teen is healthy, has good energy, and enjoys food. She is not usually very active. Not every day of eating is the same.
- 1 piece of French toast with butter and syrup, a few tablespoons of hash browns
- 3/4 of a Belgian waffle with whipped cream and syrup
- 2 pork sausage links
- 4 pieces of tuna on crispy rice (could not finish the 5th)
- An order of salmon sushi
- 2 scoops of ice cream
- 1 fried chicken taco in lettuce with cabbage
- 1 steak taco in a corn tortilla
- 1/2 serving of creamed corn
- Horchata (beverage)
- A half wedge of blue cheese with crackers
I share this because it may be difficult for parents when teens eat the foods diet culture tells us are bad. Instead, it may be a way of creating a healthy relationship with all food and getting their high energy needs met.