Raising Sons

Food Needs for a Teen Boy

Calorie Needs for Inactive Teens Ages 13 to 19

Teenage boys who spend much of their time sitting or walking leisurely need fewer calories than active teens, according to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute. Teenage boys who are 13 years old need between 1,600 and 2,000 calories a day, while teen boys ages 14 to 18 need 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day. As teenagers head into their 20s, calorie needs rise to 2,400 to 2,600 calories per day.

Calorie Needs for Active Teens Ages 13 to 19

Active teens, whether they engage in light daily exercise or expend energy doing vigorous activity, will need more calories than inactive teenagers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Active teen boys at the age of 13 need anywhere from 1,800 to 2,600 calories per day, according to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute. These calorie needs rise between the ages of 14 and 18, when active teen boys require 2,400 to 3,200 calories per day. An active 19-year-old teenage boy needs 2,600 to 3,000 calories a day.

Proper Nutrition

Meeting calorie needs in a healthy way can be difficult in the age of the fast food restaurant. Processed foods, like potato chips or chocolate bars, are unlikely to give teenagers the nutrition their bodies need. Teenage boys need approximately 11 servings of grains, five servings of vegetables, four servings of fruit, two to three servings of dairy products, and about seven ounces of meat, beans, eggs or nuts per day, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A serving size of fruits or vegetables is about a half cup, while dairy product serving sizes range from two ounces of cheese to one cup of milk. A serving of grains may count as a half cup of rice or pasta.

Protein, Fiber and Fats

Dietary fat, protein and fiber provide the human body with energy, fuel its muscles and help the body feel full longer, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 25 to 35 percent of a 13- to 18-year-old boy's calories should come from dietary fat. Teenagers should consume fat from healthy, unsaturated sources, like olive or canola oils, walnuts or fish. Boys at 13 years old need about 34 grams of protein per day, while those daily needs rise to about 52 grams per day between 14 and 18, according to the CDC. A 19-year-old teen should consume about 56 grams of protein per day. Teens should also seek out fiber sources, like those in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Teenagers need about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Best Sunglasses for Teen Boys

UV Protection

Regardless of how much your son loves them, you should avoid sunglasses that don't have a UV sticker on them, letting you know what percentage of harmful UV rays the lenses block. Choose those that block 99 to 100 percent of these damaging rays. Look for them at vision centers or department stores, where you're likely to find a style your teen likes without compromising his eyesight.


A pair of sunglasses that are too tight or too loose are more likely to be tossed aside by your teen rather than worn when they're needed. Your son is probably able to determine if the sunglasses fit on his own, but if you're spending a lot of money on a quality pair, a vision center can ensure a proper fit so that your son is comfortable while wearing the sunglasses. Vision Service Plan recommends choosing a style that fits your teen's face comfortably and wraps around the sides of his face to block rays from coming in the edges of the sunglasses.


The lenses on sunglasses come in a variety of colors, which can make it confusing to find the best pair for your teen son. The American Optometric Association suggests gray lenses, which allow for proper color recognition. Make sure the lenses are dark enough to block out 75 to 90 percent of the light. If you can see your son's eyes, the lenses aren't dark enough. The lenses should also be uniform in tint to offer all-over eye protection. If your son plays sports, consider sport-specific goggles, suggests ophthalmologist Dr. Lee R. Duffner. They won't get knocked off or damaged as easily as traditional sunglasses.

Top Rated Choices

Researching sunglasses for teen boys helps you make a decision based on peer reviews as well as professional recommendations. It's still important to try on the sunglasses and make sure they meet the above guidelines. Many teen boys can wear men's sunglasses, which likely provide a better fit than children's sunglasses. The Independent ranked the Dior Homme and the Ray-Ban Clubmasters as two of its top 10 picks in 2009. The Frames Direct website recommends John Varvatos, its top-selling male sunglasses brand. Your son's optometrist can help you make the best choice for his specifications.

How to Raise Two Sons

Keep in mind that boys, in general, are active and need to participate in physical activities. Give your boys plenty of space and time to run, throw balls, climb and pretend to be super heroes. Boys tend to be more aggressive than girls, so a bit of rough housing and competitive play is normal.

Remember that each son has his own personality, likes and dislikes. Don’t expect them to be the same. One may be loud and aggressive, while the other is quiet and passive. Don’t use phrases like “Why can’t you be like your brother?” That will evoke resentment and hurt a child’s feelings. They are each individuals and should be recognized as such.

Set aside time for each one individually, each day if possible. A 15-minute slot daily for each should be sufficient, although if you can spare more that’s even better. This time will allow you to bond with each son and get to know each one. This mom-and-me time will also make each child feel special and valued. Let the kids pick the activities that you do during this time.

Set general rules and guidelines for the household. Let the boys help brainstorm the household chores that need to be done, as well as rewards, incentives and consequences to go along with compliance and non-compliance. This will outline what is expected of everyone in the household.

Be the referee, when needed. Small sibling squabbles are bound to happen and sooner or later the two boys will need to figure out how to problem solve the small stuff. Bigger things, such as punching, should be addressed between all three of you. Allow both of them to calm down in separate areas before sitting them down to try to get to the bottom of the issue. Allow each child to have his own time to discuss what’s going on. Brainstorm together to find a solution and have each compromise and agree on the outcome.

Keep your sanity through humor. You will have to get used to the fart and booger jokes -- you can’t escape those. Crack your own boy-friendly jokes, as long as they are something that you all will laugh at and won’t make either child feel embarrassed or sensitive. Give them a handful of O-shaped cereal and ask if that will help with the aiming into the toilet.

Teen Body Issues


As a teen's body changes and develops during puberty, it's nearly impossible for her not to compare herself to peers and the unrealistic airbrushed images of models and actresses that blanket TV ads and magazine covers. Failed attempts to meet the impossible camera- and computer-tweaked standard of beauty or masculinity can render a major hit on a teen's body image. Teen girls and boys might spends endless hours fretting over whether their appearance is good enough to "fit in" with their peers, points out the American Psychological Association. It can be equally important for a teen to develop her personal style, spending an inordinate amount of time in front of the mirror to find the perfect look.

Weight Concerns

Weight gain and puberty typically go hand in hand, which can be very distressing, especially for girls who generally want to be as slim as possible. Some teenagers are on a perennial diet. Infomercials that peddle "two-minute abs" and other weight loss gear reinforce the fact that being thin is in. A small number of teen girls develop full-blown eating disorders. Between 0.5 and 1 percent of all females age 12 to 18 in the U.S. are anorexic, and 1 to 3 percent suffers from bulimia, reports Boston Children's Hospital. Another 20 percent may not have a "clinical" eating disorder but nevertheless have unhealthy dieting habits.

Boys and Body Image

Boys tend to be less concerned with keeping the pounds off and more focused on pumping iron to build muscle and strength. Some males use performance-enhancing drugs in an effort to feel more security with their masculinity while others -- particularly those involved in sports -- believe they're under a great amount of pressure to win the game, explains MayoClinic.com. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound available over-the-counter as a performance enhancing supplement. Many others are available as well. .

Tips For Parents

Teenage body image issues, whether they are concerns over weight, acne or facial features, should be not be dismissed by parents but rather met with empathy. Telling an adolescent he "looks fine" after being teased about his appearance may seem like a brush off. Take time to listen your teen's concerns and fears. She will be more apt to reach out to you in the future when she knows you take her body image worries seriously.

Activities for One-Year-Old Boy Fraternal Twins

Physical Activities

For 1-year-old boys, everything is a physical activity. Whether they are learning to walk or already walking, boys this age roll, bounce and tumble over everything in sight. You can help develop their coordination by setting up a simple obstacle course. Have your boys crawl through a tunnel, walk up a shallow ramp, walk or crawl over uneven couch cushions or an old mattress and step or crawl over a small obstacle. Roll or toss a ball back and forth and chase both boys around the house or yard.

Sensory Play

Since 1-year-old boys spend their time exploring everything, sensory play is perfect for their level of development. Strip both boys down to just a diaper and let them have fun exploring chocolate pudding, yogurt, water, sand, shaving cream or finger paint. To contain the mess, do this in a high chair or outside on a vinyl tablecloth or a shower curtain. Obviously you will need to supervise to make sure your boys do not try to taste anything that is not edible, like shaving cream.

Quieter Play

While it may seem like nothing your 1-year-olds do is quiet, they are getting to the age where they can focus on a task for a few minutes at a time. This is the perfect age to introduce stacking blocks, shape sorters, board books and nesting cups. Stack up a few blocks and have your boys take turns knocking them over. Sit down with both boys to look at two or three pages in a book and point out one picture on each page. Keep in mind that at this age their attention span will probably not be more than ten or 15 minutes at best. When one boy is absorbed in an independent task, take a few minutes to play closely with his brother.

Safety Concerns

As you’ve probably already figured out, 1-year-old boys are into everything. Use baby gates to your advantage by placing them at the tops or bottoms of stairs, or using them to block off rooms that aren’t childproof. Keep the play area clear of breakables or choking hazards and always watch closely during feeding time. Let your boys practice climbing on age-appropriate outdoor equipment, but avoid situations where they could fall from a greater height. Keep your toddlers safe while giving them freedom to explore and play.