Children who are active and growing rapidly need more nutrients in proportion to their body size than most adults. They have large appetites because they need the extra food. Resist the temptation to let them fill up on biscuits, sweets, crisps, pastry, chips and soft drinks, but encourage them to eat a broad range of fresh fruit and vegetables. The same advice about not adding extra fibre still applies. A good diet will provide more than enough fibre.
Try and follow the same pattern of meals as the younger children with starch and fruit for breakfast, starch and vegetables for lunch, and starch, protein, vegetables and fruit for an evening meal.
Packed lunches can easily be based on wholemeal bread and butter, starch spreads and fresh fruit. Children should always be encouraged to select what they want from a small range of choices, and prepare their own packed meal.
As the school child becomes an adolescent it is still important to encourage good, well balanced eating habits and to encourage healthy exercise. There is increasing evidence that adolescents require this exercise in order to lay down the muscle and bone structure that will carry them through their adult lives.
A girl who becomes pregnant before reaching full maturity is particularly at risk of suffering nutritional deficiencies, as her own body's resources are robbed to provide the nutrients for the baby.