Talk to your nutritionist about your boy’s activity level and she can help decide the calorie requirement.
A boy's body goes through several changes during his teenage years; several of those can start as early as at the age of 13. Boys begin to gain weight, specifically muscle mass, and broadening of the shoulders, deepening of the voice and appearance of facial hair occurs. If your nutritionist encourages you to gain weight since, your leanness is threatening your health and energy, then having a balanced diet, along with extra calories and nutritious meals, as well as good exercise will support you. Be gentle and have patience with your body and try not to speed up the process; it can take 3-4 years to reach the adult size.
The teenager may not completely reach his adult weight until the age of 18, so take steps that slowly and gradually help in weight gain. Adding an excessive amount of calories can increase body fat, rather than assisting to develop healthy lean muscle. But if being skinny drains energy, makes him feel self-conscious or negatively affects his immune system and health, adding calories and proper resistance training will help him become at his healthiest. To ensure that the teenage child is eating sufficient calories to assist his current weight.
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Adding calories from healthy foods and not from unhealthy snacks or fast food, will help the child to gain muscle mass. Processed foods, like the soda, chips and white bread, have added calories but provide no nutrition. These foods never help the teenage to look or feel better. A diet that lacks nutrition hampers the optimal growth of the child.
If you do not increase the meal sizes, then increase the calorie density of his meals stating you must make high-calorie additions to the foods your son eats. Give oatmeal in milk, and put some raisins and walnuts; spread vegetables on sandwiches, and add mustard or sesame oil for cooking.
Having mini-meals between breakfast, lunch and dinner supports add calories. When your teenage boy is at school, give him seeds, fruits and nuts so that he can have them in between classes. Also, you can give a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread in your kid’s post-school activity. A snack before sleeping, like the whole-grain cereal with milk, also improves calories.
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Dried fruit, curd, smoothies prepared with pureed fruit and milk, and meat and fish are other healthy options. You can also let your child drink milk or fruit juice between meals to boost his calorie intake.
(With inputs from Dt. Shikha Mahajan, Holistic Nutritionist and Founder of Diet Podium)
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