Over the past few months I've spent a lot of time around students, from 5 year olds to college go-ers. Regardless of age, students always have the best and most honest nutrition related questions. There's nothing I love more than helping them clear up some of their lingering health questions. No matter how unexpected....You'll see what I mean at the bottom of this post. With the help of my Mom, who works with middle school/high school aged students, I've compiled some of the most frequently asked nutrition questions from female students. There are multiple questions about diets, weight loss, and size- a litmus test of the pervasive thinness ideal in our culture. It really hurts my heart to see questions like this from such a young age group, but at least they're asking...that means there's a chance to infuse healthy, not skinny. I've included my answers incase you too need to engage in these conversations.
What foods make you fat?
There isn’t one food that makes someone ‘fat’. In fact, you can still have desserts on occasion and be healthy! Think about moderation instead and try new and exciting foods. Instead of two slices of pizza at lunch, what if you tried one slice of pizza and a side of spinach salad?
What are some healthy snack ideas?
- Whole wheat toast and peanut butter
- Veggies with hummus dip
- String cheese and a piece of fruit
- Popcorn (without extra butter and salt)
- Handful of nuts and dried fruit
- Apple slices and peanut butter
- Hard boiled egg
What’s a good flat tummy food?
There isn’t one special food that makes a ‘flat tummy’ but a balanced eating plan with lots of fruits, veggies, whole grain, and protein can help you feel healthy, strong, and lean. Sometimes when we eat very salty foods people say they feel ‘bloated’. If you feel this way, you could try cutting back on eating salty foods that cause this for you.
Why is breakfast so important?
Breakfast is really helpful to make your day healthy! Our bodies need fuel after spending the night without food. Eating breakfast lets you start your day with energy to do homework, play sports and more. If we skip breakfast, we usually eat more food than usual later in the day.
What is a healthy weight for a teenage girl?
There isn’t a magic number that is perfect. There are lots of variables that tell us a healthy size for a person including:
- How tall are you?
- Do you play sports?
- How dense are your bones?
Sometimes we use a formula called ‘BMI’ to calculate someone’s risk factor based on their height and weight. But it’s not always about the number on the scale. It’s how healthy you feel!
and my personal favorite:
What kinds of foods can make your boobs grow?
There are lots of rumors that some foods can make your chest grow, but it’s not true. The shape of your body, the color of your eyes, and even how big your chest is has a lot to do with your genetics.
What are some of the questions you've been asked by students?
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.