Lack of Variety in Adolescent Diets
Students are not always able to make optimal food choices. Thus, it is important to help them select healthier alternatives when confronted with several imperfect options in the school cafeteria or at a fast food restaurant. In other words, students can learn to make better “bad choices.” In general, it is advisable to drink water instead of sweetened soft drinks, reduce portion sizes, and avoid fried foods.
A dinner plate can be used to help students estimate appropriate amounts of foods. Approximately one half of the plate should contain fruits and vegetables. The other half should contain a protein source (fish, meat, poulty, beans) and a starch (potatoes, rice, bread).
Food lessons help students learn to sample and enjoy new foods. Try introducing a new fruit or vegetable in class each week. Students are more likely to try something new when it is introduced to the entire group.
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This work was supported by National Space Biomedical Research Institute through NASA cooperative agreement NCC 9-58.