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Teens

Teens

Make healthy choices as you grow.

During the teenage years, you’re beginning to make your own decisions – and that’s pretty awesome! One of the ways you can make smart choices is in the foods you eat. We get it, life is busy between school and friends, but starting with small changes now will not only help keep your mind and body growing healthy, but it will also help set you up for success later on.

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Learn What You Need

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Eat a Variety of Foods

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Keep Water Handy

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Be Active

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Resources

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Learn What You Need

Do you know what foods and amounts are best for YOU? Get your personalized MyPlate Plan to learn your food group goals. 

Before making any major changes to the way you eat, make sure to talk with a parent, caregiver, or a healthcare provider.

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Teen boy eating salad

Eat a Variety of Foods

Make choices from all food groups—fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy and fortified soy alternatives—every day. Each group gives you different nutrients and you need all of them.

Eating a variety of healthy foods can have many benefits, including more energy, stronger bones, and healthier skin.

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Teen students with backpacks eating apples
Make Healthy Choices on the Go

Life is busy and you may not always be home when hunger strikes. If you have afterschool activities or work, stock your backpack with healthy snacks like apples, baby carrots, whole wheat crackers, or unsalted nuts. Check out Healthy Snacking with MyPlate for more ideas.

Grabbing a bite to eat with a friend? Learn how to choose healthy menu options if you’re getting takeout or eating at a restaurant.

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Explore Ideas in the Kitchen

Now is a great time to start learning how to do more on your own in the kitchen. Keep it fun by inviting a friend over to try a recipe together. Check out MyPlate Kitchen for lots of great ideas. Even if your first attempt is a fail, it can make for a good story! Share photos of your creations with friends and family.

Keep Water Handy

Water is a healthy and refreshing drink choice. Keep a reusable water bottle in your bag and skip the sugary sodas, fruit drinks, coffee drinks, and energy and sports drinks.

For something different, try flavoring water with fruits or vegetables (like lemons, oranges, or cucumbers), and mint or other herbs. Check out other ways to make better beverage choices.

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Be Active

Squeeze in some physical activity between homework, going out, and other activities. Here are some ideas:

  • Try morning stretches or yoga
  • Walk the dog
  • Ride your bike or skateboard with a friend
  • Do an online workout or dance video
  • Sign up for an active after-school program or rec center class
  • Put on your favorite podcast or playlist and go for a walk or run
  • Organize a pick-up soccer, basketball, or kickball game with friends

Resources

Help teens make their own healthy choices with these resources and tools.

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Healthy Eating for Teens Tip Sheet

English    Spanish

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Get Your MyPlate Plan

English     Spanish

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Food & Fitness for Teens

Kidshealth.org

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More Print Materials

English   Spanish

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Shop Simple with MyPlate

Find savings in your area and discover new ways to prepare budget-friendly foods.

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MyPlate on Alexa

Get MyPlate nutrition tips on Amazon Alexa devices or the free Alexa app.

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Start Simple with MyPlate App

Build healthy eating habits one goal at a time! Download the Start Simple with MyPlate app today.

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MyPlate.gov is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025