Should We Be Eating Healthier?


Annaliese Naas, Staff Writer

Many students enjoy lunchtime as they can walk to the grocery store, sandwich shop and many fast-food restaurants and grab what they’re craving. What they come back with is typically what our parents warned us not to eat, ranging from energy drinks, to fried chicken from the store, and even Big Macs from Mcdonald’s.

According to John Muir Health, Teenagers should eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day (for a 2,000 calorie diet). 1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily. They should also eat three 1-cup servings of low-fat or fat-free calcium-rich foods every day. 

Shanda Heacock, the health teacher at Lakeland, teaches about the American guidelines and, which shows students the right foods to choose from, like fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy. “I try to teach them a balance of those things,” Heacock said.

When asked about the importance of eating healthy at a young age, she said “It is very important, because you’re growing and need to supply your body with the nutrients you need” It is important for strong bones and muscles and brain development. The easiest way to eat healthy is to stay away from packaged foods “a lot of teens and adults make a Beeline for the easy stuff. If you take a little time to prepare a few snacks, it will be better for you than prepackaged foods” Heacock said.

Heacock added, “Nutrition is important for your growth, but it’s also important for your mind.”

Heacock said that a lot of teenagers are dealing with anxiety, depression, and what you eat can really take effect to that.

In my opinion, I agree with what Mrs. Heacock said that what you eat affects your Mental health. Students should watch what they eat. When I go grocery shopping I tend to look at the labels, and not just the amount of calories, sugar, or salt, but the ingredients. When I notice something I don’t know I look it up and see what it is. I usually tend to stay away from foods that have an essay for an ingredient list, I also avoid whatever has big letters and has E numbers such as PGPR and Polysorbate-80.

I also avoid dyes like Red 40 as it has been linked to aggression in young children. I do struggle at times with watching what I eat, as I am a foodie and love food and could at times eat a meal bigger than my head or not be hungry and just snack on whatever I have. I also tend to have a sweet tooth at times, despite preferring more savory foods. I can crave cookies and ice cream, so I practice impulse control and just think about how my health would be at stake and focus on another thing.