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Diet in Adolescence


During Adolescence, the influences on eating habits are numerous. The growing independence of adolescents, increased participation in social life and a generally busy schedule of activities have a great impact on food intake. 

Breakfast is frequently neglected and omitted more often by teenagers. For teenage girls, skipping lunch is generally taken to be a way of controlling weight. Diets are likely to be bizarre and unbalanced. The concern about size and shape of the body, sexual development, vitality, skin condition and attractiveness are great and there is a sense of freedom to make their own decisions which is reflected in the choice of foods. Family conflicts and emotional problems may arise due to a feeling of social inadequacy or pressure of school and college work. Though appetite is great, meal times are irregular due to pre-occupation with books, comics, friends and dating. Snacking in between meals is therefore common. The choice of foods is important. Snacks should be wholesome and not only a source of energy but also proteins and other essential nutrients.

Recommended Energy Allowances for Adolescents 

Group Age (years) Energy (kcal/day)
Boys  10 to 12 2190
Girls 10 to 12 1970
Boys  13 to 15 2450
Girls 13 to 15 2060
Boys 16 to 18 2640
Girls 16 to 18 2060

Recommended Allowances of Proteins for Adolescents 

Group Age (years) Energy (g/d)
Boys 10 to 12 54
Girls 10 to 12 57
Boys 13 to 15 70 
Girls 13 to 15 65
Boys  16 to 18 78
Girls 16 to 18 63

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A Days Sample Diet Plan for an Adolescent Girl (18 years)

Sonali is an 18 year old daughter of a chartered accountant, who has a roaring practice. She is attending a medical college from 0900 hrs to 1600 hrs. Since most of the family members are out during the day, the family enjoys their dinner together. She is non-vegetarian in her food habits. A day's diet for her is planned here:


Personal Data

Age 18 years
Sex  Female
Socio-economic Status MIG
Food Habits Non-Vegetarian


Recommended Dietary Allowances

Energy 2060 kcal
Protein 63 g
Calcium 30 mg
Thiamine  40 mg


Sample Menu Plan

Meal  Menu
Breakfast French Toast
  Milk
  Apple
Packed Lunch Channas
  Methi aloo
  Cucumber salad
  Poori
 Tea Time Banana Milk Shake 
  Cheese capsicum pizza
Dinner Cream of Mushroom soup
  Keema Kofta Curry
  Gobhi Mussalam
  Carrot Raita
  Tandoori Roti
  Orange Pineapple Cream


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