Teenage girl eating saladAs children reach adolescence, they quickly become independent and take more control over what they choose to eat. Food choices are influenced by lots of different factors, such as how much money they have to spend, personal tastes, advertising, availability, religion, and cultural and social pressures. Very often, nutritional content is the last thing to be considered.

The teenage years are a time of very rapid growth and development, so having a healthy balanced diet is particularly important. Two of the most important minerals during adolescence are calcium and iron. More information on calcium and iron can be found under the Bone health section and The importance of iron section.