Although I did receive financial compensation for writing this post, all views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely and entirely my own and based on my own unique experiences. For nutrition information on avocados, please be sure to visit the LoveOneToday.com website.
Teen Nutrition: Avocados Are A Perfect Addition To A Teen’s Diet
Feeding teenagers is a challenge. Even with all the knowledge that I thought I had on teen nutrition, I wasn’t prepared for some of these changes in my two teenager’s eating habits:
- Hungry, really hungry (drop dead on the ground if I don’t get food now hungry).
- Taste changes: craving sugar more than ever before
- Eating away from home much more often: at friend’s homes, fast food and at school
- Food stubborn: being strong-willed at the table on what foods they currently like to eat
That is just a start (can you add anything to this list?). Feeding teenagers is an adventure, but sticking to basic healthy eating habits and enforcing regular meals will eventually see its rewards. In the end, isn’t it worth the (health) efforts to be consistent yet flexible with our adolescents?
After the baby stage, the most important nutrition period is during the teenage years.
This is where my passion and presentation for avocados came together. When Love One Today was sponsoring avocado events around the country, I knew I wanted to participate. As a dietitian, I felt comfortable promoting the health benefits of avocados and knew avocados would be a good fresh food and a nutrient booster in a teenager’s diet. An avocado is rich in good fats, is stock full of vitamins and minerals and to top it off: avocados taste good.
I wanted to reach the teenage audience because this age group would particularly benefit from adding avocados to their diet.
Love One Today Avocado Event To Teens at the Local Library
Along with my 15 year-old daughter as my assistant, and organization by the Teen S.A.I.L. coordinator at the library, we held the avocado talk to an audience of ten teenagers. It was an interactive hands-on demonstration and the teens liked learning how to tell if an avocado is ripe, how to ripen one quickly, and how to prepare guacamole and an avocado smoothie.
Out of ten teenagers in the audience, two had never tasted an avocado before (wow-I was surprised). Two teenagers were vegetarian (avocados are a good food for vegetarian diets) and all liked the guacamole and smoothie (and all took seconds).
The presentation was, overall, a success. (When I asked my 15 year-old daughter assistant how she thought the talk went, she answered “It went well, I didn’t realize you knew so much!” (ahah)).
Why avocados are an ideal food for teenagers (and everyone)
- Highest protein fruit and a meal substitution for vegetarian diets
- Naturally gluten-free
- Low sugar snack food
- A filling good start for an ‘on the go’ breakfast
- Fits well as a nutrient dense food in a packed school lunch
I add avocados to our family’s menus, and particularly geared for my two teenagers. Avocados help to keep their (sometimes ravenous) hunger away with their rich good fats and it fills them up with a healthy snack. Best of all, they love the taste of them.
Health benefits of avocados
I did a brief overview of the health benefits of avocados during my talk. I wanted to emphasize (most importantly) to the teenage audience that this period of life, their teenage growing years, is one of the most critical periods for good nutrition. Here is a brief list of an avocado’s health benefits. You can go to the Love One Today website for more information.
- naturally good fats
- cholesterol and sodium free with less than 1 gram of sugar per 1 oz.
- can be used as a replacement for saturated fats (over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated)
- a nutrient booster by helping the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients in the intestinal tract
- contributes to over 19 vitamins and minerals
- may help eye health
(My assistant daughter also pointed out during the talk that avocado ‘meat’ makes a great facial because it builds collagen and adds a shine to skin. The teenage girls were interested in this one! I suggested using the small leftover avocado meat in the skin to make a quick mini-facial.)
Two Recipes We Made For The Teen Avocado Talk:
Avocados are versatile, and a traditional guacamole dish is one that avocados are best known for. I prepared a super simple guacamole and this spread can be also used on sandwiches or in wraps. It contains three ingredients using Hass avocados (having more buttery taste) being the best avocado to make the most delicious guacamole (in my opinion).
- 2 ripe large avocados, meat removed and smushed into a mixing bowl
- juice of half a lemon
- dash of sea salt
Mix the ingredients together and serve with tortilla chips, or as I did with the teenagers, baby carrots and sliced cucumbers.
Avocado Blueberry Smoothie
Teenagers adore smoothies, and all the teens in my audience make their own smoothies at home. (These are great for a snack or breakfast on the run). We made Avocado Blueberry Licuado which tasted very good and uses low-fat milk to help add bone-building calcium to a teenager’s diet.
Why you should Love One Today
I did get compensation for my avocado talk to teenagers. But I ‘volunteered’ to promote this unique fruit because I believe they are a power food. Avocados are a fresh and nutrient dense fruit, rich in health benefits and taste.
If you have any additional questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the comment section below. If you are looking for a fancier avocado recipe, here is my article published a few months ago: “Avocados, Love One Today and Everyday.”
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