As a growing preteen, taking care of your body is especially important. Growing strong involves making healthy choices in what you eat all the time – both at meals and for snacks. Learning healthy eating habits is something that you can continue for the rest of your life.
A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, fats and dairy products will give you the best start for your body's development.
Junk foods such as potato chips, candy, sodas and fast food are high in fat and calories that provide little or temporary energy. Sodas are full of "empty calories" – meaning that you don't feel full after drinking a soda, but one soda can have as many calories as a few apples or three servings of carrots and none of the nutrients.
One fast-food meal of a double patty burger, a large soda (24 ounces) and extra-large fries can contain all the calories necessary for the body in one day (1,500 for a moderately active person). However, it doesn't nourish you as much as a well-balanced meal.
Youth reviewer: Amanda Hung
Last reviewed: June 2019