Tips for girls in puberty on nutrition and diet

Naturally, YoursWHO states that adolescents are those aged between 10 and 19 years. The transition period is called adolescence.

This phase is characterized by hormonal changes that cause physical, emotional, and mental changes.

The main factors that influence pubertal development are nutrition and diet. The other side is that puberty causes a growth spurt, which increases height and weight. This increases the need for both micronutrients and macronutrients.

Girls should know that nutritional deficiencies can lead to eating disorders, obesity, and malnutrition. Nutritional needs are directly affected by the rapid changes that occur during puberty.

Nutritional needs

These are the most important nutrients for girls in puberty.

Proteins: The protein requirement is 11-12% of energy intake. It varies between 33-43g/d depending upon the weight of teen girls, especially during puberty.

Essential for the repair and growth of tissues and muscles.

To produce hormones and enzymes.

They will feel more energetic if they eat balanced meals that contain enough protein. You can satisfy their protein needs by regularly eating high-protein foods with their meals.

Sources: Fish and lentils, beans, chickens, tofu, meats, nuts, seeds, unsweetened milk, and milk products. Zinc and vitamin B12 are also found in protein-rich foods derived from animal sources.


According to the 2020 RDA guidelines, iron requirements for girls range between 28-30mg/d. Many teens eat a monotonous, unbalanced diet that may reduce mineral intake and decrease the bioavailability and absorption of nutrients.

This can lead to anemia and iron deficiency.

Girls need iron-rich foods to replace their menstrual loss during puberty.

Iron is good for your child’s muscles and blood volume.

Iron from meat sources (known to be haem iron in the liver and red meat) is more easily absorbed than iron found in vegetarian sources (known as non-haem iron, such as dark green leafy veggies, nuts, and whole grains), which are less readily absorbed.

Vitamin C aids the body to absorb non-haem iron. Consuming vitamin C-rich foods such as lemons, oranges, and amla at mealtimes can aid in iron absorption from vegetarian sources.

Veg stew in coconut milk

Pressure-cook diced potatoes and carrots, French beans, green peas, and thinly sliced onion with two to three slit green chilies, a piece of ginger, a small amount of cinnamon, 2 or 3, cloves, and 4 peppercorns. Salt to taste

Vegetables should be softened and not mushy. Don’t add too much water, as the gravy may be very thin.

One small coconut should be smashed and ground. Use a sieve to squeeze the milk. Slowly add water. Coconut milk should not be too thick or too thin. Adjust water accordingly.

Slowly add the coconut cream to the simmering vegetables. Add a few curries leaves to the pot. Finally, add one teaspoon of coconut oil. Give the stew a stir before removing it from the heat.

Coconut milk should be added at the end. The gravy will become lumpy if you don’t turn off the stove right after adding the milk. This delicious stew is great with idlis or rotis as well as plain sweet bread.

 This stew is mildly sweetened and spicy, which children will love. As long as the cooked water does not get thrown away, the nutrients in the vegetables are retained in the gravy.

Lauric acid, which is found in coconut milk, supports the immune system. The high protein content of green beans is a good source of essential vitamins like Folate.


Teen girls need between 850 and 1000mg of calcium per day. This phase is crucial for teens to have strong bones and prevent bone loss later on.

To strengthen the bones.

To prevent the demineralization of bones.

Calcium-deficient diets can increase the likelihood of osteoporosis in girls. This increases the chance of breaking bones.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Vitamin D can be obtained from sunlight, mushrooms, and egg yolk.

Resources: Butter, curd, cheese, and milk products.


Zinc plays a role in many aspects of cell metabolism, which ultimately affects growth and maturation. Teen girls have a zinc requirement of between 8.5 and 12.8mg per day.

Girls need to grow and mature properly, otherwise, they will suffer from growth retardation.

To promote bone mineralization and bone density during puberty.

Sources Whole grain cereals, milk products, and fortified breakfast cereals are all.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for girls’ puberty. It strengthens the uterus and makes it an important nutrient. The RDA for Vitamin A is 790-890mg/day in girls.

Healthy skin and optimal growth.

It is also helpful in vision and tissue repair.

Dietary guidelines

Include regular physical activity and healthy meals.

You can include all food groups in your family by scheduling meals with social interaction and family dining.

Include girls in the preparation and selection of food and teach them how to make healthy choices.

In general, teens reported (FSSAI), that their dietary intakes of calcium, magnesium and potassium were low. These micronutrients are important to eat.

Children must be taught by their parents to limit electronic gadgets, TV watching, and computer usage to less than two hours per day and to replace with sedentary activities.

Minimize the availability of junk/processed/unhealthy foods and replace them with fruits, roasted nuts, sandwiches (veggies/sprouts/panner) and sufficient hydration (water, tender coconut water, buttermilk).

Limit empty-calorie foods like carbonated drinks.

Healthy eating is about eating whole, nutritious foods from all the major food groups. This includes eating a balanced diet of lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Pubertal glimpse

Puberty is a natural process. Girls are more likely to enter puberty when they are younger than in past decades because of their excessive intake of high-fat, processed, and junk food. The nutritional status of the child, infant, and young adult during childhood and the Peripubertal period has a major impact on pubertal development.

For any questions regarding adolescent health, consult a doctor/dietitian.

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