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Food Needs for a Teen Boy

by Candice Coleman, studioD

During the teenage years, the onset of puberty in boys means an increased need for calories. A person's nutritional needs can vary according to age, gender, muscle mass and activity level. A pediatrician or nutritionist can give teenage boys a personalized estimate of their nutritional needs. Diets with a lot of variation are more likely to give teen boys all of the nutrition their growing bodies require.

Calorie Needs for Inactive Teens Ages 13 to 19

Teenage boys who spend much of their time sitting or walking leisurely need fewer calories than active teens, according to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute. Teenage boys who are 13 years old need between 1,600 and 2,000 calories a day, while teen boys ages 14 to 18 need 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day. As teenagers head into their 20s, calorie needs rise to 2,400 to 2,600 calories per day.

Calorie Needs for Active Teens Ages 13 to 19

Active teens, whether they engage in light daily exercise or expend energy doing vigorous activity, will need more calories than inactive teenagers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Active teen boys at the age of 13 need anywhere from 1,800 to 2,600 calories per day, according to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute. These calorie needs rise between the ages of 14 and 18, when active teen boys require 2,400 to 3,200 calories per day. An active 19-year-old teenage boy needs 2,600 to 3,000 calories a day.

Proper Nutrition

Meeting calorie needs in a healthy way can be difficult in the age of the fast food restaurant. Processed foods, like potato chips or chocolate bars, are unlikely to give teenagers the nutrition their bodies need. Teenage boys need approximately 11 servings of grains, five servings of vegetables, four servings of fruit, two to three servings of dairy products, and about seven ounces of meat, beans, eggs or nuts per day, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A serving size of fruits or vegetables is about a half cup, while dairy product serving sizes range from two ounces of cheese to one cup of milk. A serving of grains may count as a half cup of rice or pasta.

Protein, Fiber and Fats

Dietary fat, protein and fiber provide the human body with energy, fuel its muscles and help the body feel full longer, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 25 to 35 percent of a 13- to 18-year-old boy's calories should come from dietary fat. Teenagers should consume fat from healthy, unsaturated sources, like olive or canola oils, walnuts or fish. Boys at 13 years old need about 34 grams of protein per day, while those daily needs rise to about 52 grams per day between 14 and 18, according to the CDC. A 19-year-old teen should consume about 56 grams of protein per day. Teens should also seek out fiber sources, like those in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Teenagers need about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

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