Nutrition for your school-aged child, tween or teen


Your child’s activity levels, growth spurts and eating patterns will influence their nutrient intake as they grow into adolescents.

As children get older, they can play a greater role in family meals by helping with grocery shopping, preparing dinner and making lunches to take to school.

In the late tween and early teen years, your children will also start to eat outside the home more often. Developing a balanced approach to food will help them understand portion sizes, drink and snack choices and restaurant menus.

Your child can learn a lot about food by helping to prepare it. When this is not possible, they can learn the skills to read food product labels and make the best choices from the four food groups listed in Canada’s Food Guide.

Teens, in particular, need to consider healthy eating as their bodies change. Healthy eating is especially important for pregnant teens. A pregnant teen should talk to her doctor and know which foods to eat more of and which foods to avoid. This will help her maintain a positive relationship with food and thrive during pregnancy.

About this section

This section deals with nutrition for older children and teens. You can find out:

Reviewed by:
Elly Berger, BA, MD, FRCPC, FAAP, MHPE​