Understanding Preteen Eating Patterns

Preteens (kids aged ten to 13 years old) often display definite likes and dislikes when it comes to food. They can be quite tempted by junk food. thanks to being surrounded by messages from the media that make sugary, fatty or refined foods look delicious.

This age group also is hard to stop from snacking mindlessly between meals, especially while they are watching television.

One characteristic that your child might start to display at this age to a greater display is eating to comfort oneself. This is because a child this day may not know how to deal with approaching puberty, hormones and feelings about the opposite sex.

One pattern that could emerge is the one where your pre-teen eats to 'stuff down anger.' This is a hard-wired response to feeling anger that is satiated by the feeling of eating high calorie, salty foods.

Children from ages ten to 13 years old need to eat three sit-down square meals a day and at least three snacks a day to stay healthy. However some of these children may experience a big growth spurt that requires them to constantly be snacking. This is okay as long as the kid is not gaining a great deal of weight and as long as he or she is snacking on healthy foods.

Most preteens are happiest eating three meals a days. Studies have shown that kids who eat healthy meals at home are more likely to choose healthy snacks outside the home. That means saying ‘no’ to greasy chips and sugary candies.

You should also bag your child's lunch. Like play age kids, your preteen is vulnerable to the temptations at local fast food joints and has more expendable income of his own.

If your child must buy lunch then make sure he or she can make the right food choices. One way to control how your adolescent spends money on food is to give them a prepaid debit card; this will give you a good idea of how much they are eating and when they are eating.

Just as a brief recap preteens need to –
• Eat regularly
• Stay away from junk food
• Avoid excess salt and sugar
• Make sure they are getting enough calcium through food sources
• Make sure they are getting enough Vitamin D

The amount of food a child should eat from each food group on a daily basis is determined by his age, sex and physical activity level.