Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nutrition for Pre-teen Girls

The pre-teen age for young girls is a time of change; changes in their body, developing a sense of self, and creating healthy habits. As for nutrition, this is a critical time when eating behaviors are established that often influence behaviors during adulthood. A healthful diet during this period in a young girl’s life can help reduce the risk of:
  • iron deficiency
  • maturation delays
  • weight issues
  • poor bone health
  • poor school/sport performance
We want our girls to have a positive relationship with food and healthful nutrition, which is why it’s important to start helping her form those habits now! Here's an easy recipe your pre-teen will love:

At Home FroYo
1 – 5.3 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
½ cup chopped fruit (strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, etc.)

Mix chopped fruit into Greek yogurt and stick in the freezer for about 30 min to create your very own frozen yogurt without any added sugar! The Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, which is important to help girls build strong, healthy bones. The pop of color from the fruit adds vitamins and minerals essential to a well-balanced diet.

You can learn more nutrition tips during my presentation about five key healthy eating tips for pre-teen girls to help “power” them up for success at the GiRL Power Event on March 3 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The event aims to strengthen the bond and dialogue between pre-teen girls and their mothers (or other important women) to build confidence and improve health.

Jennifer Gavia is a Registered Dietitian for the Texas Health Resources Harris Methodist Executive Health Program and for the Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine Program.

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