Unfortunately, the top sources of calories in a teen's diet include some unhealthy choices: sweets, such as cake and cookies, pizza and soda. A healthier eating plan for a 15-year-old girl needs to include more whole, natural foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products.
Video of the Day
Naturally Sweet Fruit
Instead of sweets and soda, a 15-year-old girl can satisfy her sweet tooth with fruit. She needs three servings a day, in which one serving is equal to one medium apple or 1 cup of fresh cut-up fruit. Fruits are low in calories and high in essential nutrients teens need for good health, including fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.
Vegetables also make healthy additions to a teen girl's diet. Like fruits, vegetables are low in calories and rich in essential nutrients that promote health. A 15-year-old girl needs four servings of vegetables a day. An example of a vegetable serving includes 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of mixed greens. Teen girls can easily meet their daily veggie needs by including them at both the lunch and dinner meal, and eating them as a snack.
Most teens get enough grains in their diet but not enough whole grains, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Whole grains are high in fiber and a natural source of iron, magnesium, selenium and B vitamins. Fifteen-year-old girls need five to 11 servings of grains a day, and at least half of those grain servings should be whole-grain. One grain serving equals two slices of whole wheat bread or 1 cup of cooked brown rice.
Protein foods are especially important for 15-year-old girls because they are a source of iron. Girls lose iron through menstruation and need more than boys, 15 milligrams a day vs. 11 milligrams. In addition to being a source of iron, protein foods also supply B vitamins, vitamin E and zinc. A 15-year-old girl needs 2 to 3.5 ounces of protein a day. Healthy protein foods include lean red meat, poultry, seafood, tofu, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds.
Dairy for Bone Health
To keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis later in life, teen girls need to make sure they get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diets. Dairy foods are a good source of both, and 15-year-old girls need three servings a day, in which one serving is equal to 1 cup of low-fat milk or one small carton of low-fat yogurt.