Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Health » Healthy Living for Teens means a healthy diet
Feb 24, 2011

Healthy Living for Teens means a healthy diet

There is an abundance of food on every corner and on every shelf of your grocery store. But while you may think that you have an enormous selection to pick and choose from; the tacos, the fried chicken, the rice and beans plate or even your regular barbecue may not be the best choice for you or your kids. So ensuring a healthy and balanced diet for teens is quite a challenging task in any household. Those teenage years are probably the most influential and demanding period of development and perhaps the best time to instill and encourage proper eating habits. This week, Healthy Living lets teens know that they are what they eat.

Khadijah Reneau, 17yrs

Khadijah Reneau

“My idea of healthy living is having meal that consists of the 6 basic food groups or having a fruit drink maybe and vegetables or something with fiber to create a sense of fullness.”

Herman Castillo, 17yrs

“My idea of healthy living for teenager is the type of food you eat, how often you have rest and if you have exercise every now and again.”

Rondre Walker

Rondre Walker, 17yrs

“Basically to me healthy living is a combination of all the food groups in correct proportion.”

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

All parents want their children to be healthy. In fact their early years there’s often much invested into ensuring that children eat the very best. However, as teenagers, quite often their eating habits become as erratic as their hormones. But it is a crucial time for a focus on healthy living as it is a period of rapid growth and development.

Robyn Daily, Nutritionist for Ministry of Health

Robyn Daily

“Teenagers are still in their growing phase so that’s something that we have to acknowledge. So they need to have, we’re looking at some basic minerals that they need to have in their diet.”

But are our teenagers accessing the proper nutrition that is essential to their development? I checked in with a few Belize City teenagers to find out what their diet consists of and then discussed the impact of their diets with Ministry of Health’s Nutritionist Robyn Daly.

Khadijah Reneau

“In the morning I would eat toast bread with butter and juice. And in the afternoon I would eat white rice stew beans a little chicken on the side. When I go home in the night I would have like fry jack with beans and that would be my typical diet.”

Herman Castillo

“I would prefer having breakfast, I love breakfast.”

Marleni Cuellar

“And what would your breakfast entail?”

Herman Castillo

Herman Castillo

“Scrambled fry cake, beans with a hot cup of milo.”

Rondre Walker

“My friends some of them, most likely they eat fry chicken, chow mien, steak from the Chinese.”

Marleni Cuellar

“How often you see them eat like that?”

Rondre Walker

“For maybe 2 times that I see them eat at school. I noh know what they have on weekends.”

Marleni Cuellar

“What do you think people your age really like to consume?”

Khadijah Reneau

“Fry chicken is a very common meal for teenagers in the afternoon. Fry chicken is their meal.”

Herman Castillo

“Teenagers usually eat finger foods, fry chicken fry tacos you think they have healthy options available? Well I think so cause they have fruits vendors outside so I think we have a healthy option.”

Robyn Daly

“We’re looking at this population eating a lot of fatty food and that is of concern. We need fat let me make that clear it is not bad. But if we’re having such a large part of our daily diet with so much fat in it: fry jack in the morning, fry chicken at night or something that is fried in the evening we’re looking at too much fat in the diet.  That is defiantly not a good thing from what you’re telling me. All that fatty food is putting them at risk for overweight and obesity right off. Secondly they’re diet is not balance because if they’re having 2/3 times a week then assume there’s no vegetables going along with that ist just fry chicken and French fries so we’re looking at a heavy concentration of fat in the diet and puts them at risk for developing the chronic disease not over obesity but also that foundation for diabetes for other chronic conditions that being overweight is a risk factor for.”

Robyn emphasizes the need for a balance diet. Acknowledging that it may be unrealistic to expect teenagers to always make healthy food choice, some assistance from parents and schools can assist. This was a sentiment shared by the teenagers I spoke with.

Marleni Cuellar

“You think your parents have any control over what you eat?”

Rondre Walker

“To some extent yes, at home they provide the food fi us. If they normally provide the healthy food for us then more than likely when we go out we wah eat the same thing. So if something bad at home then it wah be the same thing when you go out.”

Herman Castillo

“I think they have most of the control over what I eat because if they cook rice and beans she always try to incorporate vegetables, she has a knowledge of how teenagers eat so she will always cook vegetables.”

Robyn Daly

“Our typical meal is healthy, our rice and beans and the way that we prepare our foods. We need to cut back on a lot of the fried food. We have the problem all over the world we really do consume a lot of fried food. Using shortening, lard not using the good oils so we need to strike a balance with that and have foods that are a little bit more wholesome. Students need to get carbohydrates that are important which we get from our rice our bread. Those things are important as well. So when we say balance when we’re looking at their diets. We want to feed our brains glucose and your main source of glucose comes from carbohydrates.”

Parents and other adults must recognize their role in creating a healthy lifestyle for Generation Z by:

Modeling good behavior,

Encouraging the consumption of fruits and veggies,

Encouraging them to drink water,

Encouraging nutrition label reading, and

Incorporating foods with minerals such as: Zinc, calcium, potassium, protein and iron – all very essential for the teenage years.

The ADM Belize Mills Nutrition Quiz is one way we’re already changing Belize’s future health demographics.  Heading into the 11th quiz, the objectives remain the same as it did from the start.

Robyn Daly

“We’re looking at establishing a pattern for health eating, that’s one. Two we’re looking to educate in terms in terms of what is healthy and conditions. 16.14 the topics covered in the quiz are very comprehensive we’re looking at food choices. We’re looking at nutritional value of food. We’re looking at the chronic conditions and how to manage them, we’re looking at food safety.  The information that they learn we’re hoping that they can take that with them and practice what they learn. That’s one of the objectives of the skills. And also to develop skills They learn food safety practices and principals in studying for the quiz.”

Marleni Cuellar

“You think you have wah healthy diet?”

Herman Castillo

“I da put it 50/50.”

Rondre Walker

“When I took food & nutrition—main prupose was because I love to eat—but it also comes with advantages; such as knowing all the nutrients, what to do to stay healthy, the type of foods, decreasing fat rates in food sugars, salt, eating more salty food.”

Marleni Cuellar

“And how much of the theory that you learn you actually practice?”

Rondre Walker

“Well I try to practice most of them. I wouldn’t say that I practice all, but I try to practice some of the healthy practices. I try, it’s a struggle, but I try.”

Belize placed second in 2007 at the regionals within eighteen other Caribbean countries and in 2008 we’ve actually placed first. The organizers say that they hope to eventually offer a similar program for primary school children.

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*