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Charge Up!

Medical care for patients with obesity PDF coverHealthy Meals and Snacks for TEENS - Take Charge of Your Health

Eating healthy foods will...
  • Help keep your weight in check.
  • Keep you awake and focused in school.
  • Help you do your best at sports.
They have lots of sugar, salt, and fat.
  • Limit cakes, cookies, and other foods made with shortening, butter, and margarine.
  • Choose water or fat-free or low-fat milk instead of sugary soda or juice drinks.
  • Eat more foods like bananas, beans, and yogurt for potassium to help build strong bones.
Snack smart on these!
  • Fresh apples, berries, or grapes
  • A handful of walnuts or almonds
  • A small bag of mini-carrots
  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Power up with lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, beans, nutes, tofu, and other protein-rich foods.
  • Build strong bones with fat-free or low-fat milk products for calcium and vitamin D.
  • Choose whole grains, like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal, for half of your grain servings.
One fast food meal can have more calories, fat, and sugar than you need for the whole day.
  • Avoid "value-sized" or "super-sized meals."
  • Share your meal or take half home when eating out.
  • Choose whole-wheat bread, lean meats, and fresh fruit at the school cafeteria


A pile of Almonds 


    Busy schedules can make it hard to eat smart. Planning ahead can help.
    • Jump-start your day with breakfast. It will help you do better in school.
    • Bagit! Pack a healthy lunch, like a lean turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread and an apple.
    • Snack smart by packing your own high-power nibbles for school or time with friends.

    Weight-control Information Network
    Check out http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov and our short booklet for teens: Take Charge of Your Health! A Guide for Teenagers! Join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/win.niddk.nih.gov

    Learn about healthy eating from other organizations, too:

    Dietary Guidelines for Americans

    Media Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!
    President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

    The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). WIN provides the general public, health professionals, and the media with science-based, up-to-date, culturally relevant materials and tips. Topics include how to consume healthy foods and beverages, barriers to physical activity, portion control, and eating and physical activity myths.

    Publications produced by WIN are reviewed by both NIDDK scientists and outside experts. This fact sheet was also reviewed by Carla Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Ohio State University.

    You may also find additional information about this topic by visiting MedlinePlus at http://www.medlineplus.gov.

    This publication is not copyrighted. WIN encourages you to copy and share as many copies as desired.

    National Institutes of Health
    NIH Publication No. 11—7813
    Updated September 2011