Healthy eating: Nutrition tips to fuel your body

Proper nutrition gives your body the essentials it needs like vitamins and minerals. Eating healthy also helps your body prevent sickness and disease.

It’s important to make the right choices about nutrition because it gives your body the energy it needs to function. Eating right can also help you look and feel your best! Check in with your doctor or nutritionist if you’re concerned about your nutrition, eating habits or weight.

Why should I eat healthy?

When you eat healthy, you’ll feel better and have more energy. Proper nutrition can make doing physical activities you enjoy easier while helping to reduce the risk of things like diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.

What does eating healthy mean?

Eating healthy involves paying attention to your diet, like:

  • eating a variety of foods
  • choosing a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • cutting back on foods with sugars and salt
  • selecting calcium-rich foods like milk and almonds
  • choosing a diet that provides enough iron to meet your body’s needs
  • staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water

Your age, height and activity level will help guide what, and how much, you should eat.

What is a vegetarian diet?

Being a vegetarian can be a healthy choice, as long as you’re getting the right amount of nutrition. There are different kinds of meat-free or meat-reduced diets, including:

  • people who just avoid red meat
  • people who avoid all meat and fish but still eat dairy products and eggs
  • people who avoid all meat, fish and dairy products but still eat eggs
  • people who avoid all meat, fish and eggs but still eat dairy products
  • people who do not eat any foods that contain animal products (this is a vegan diet)

If you choose to follow one of these diets, you still need to make sure you’re meeting your body’s nutritional needs. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you have any concerns about your diet.

What is bone health?

You produce most of your bone density during childhood. Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens your bones to the point where they break easily. Making sure you get enough calcium and exercise will help build strong bones and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.

What is iron?

Iron is a mineral that helps you develop strong muscles and produce healthy blood. It’s in foods like:

  • red meat
  • peanut butter
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • spinach
  • whole grain cereals
  • raisins or other dried fruits
  • whole grain breads

How much should I weigh?

People often start dieting because they think they “should” be a certain shape or size. But the truth is that your body has its own naturally healthy weight. Experts call this healthy weight your “set point.” We each have a unique set point, so what’s healthy for one person may not be healthy or even possible for another.

If you have concerns about your weight, or anything to do with your health, it’s best to talk with your doctor. They can help you understand what’s healthy for you. Remember, loving the body you have, no matter your weight, is important too.

Need more information or support? You can contact Kids Help Phone 24/7.