Great Book for Adolescent and Teenage Girls

Anyone dealing with an adolescent girl knows how tricky it can be.  One minute they’re happy as can be, giving the impression life just can’t get any better.   The next minute they are in tears because they notice an imprint on their face from their pillow following a good night’s sleep.  If your daughter has any issues regarding her weight, this can add another complexity to the already stifling behavior they can exhibit.  Recently, I came across a book that I think could be a great resource for girls – best suited for the 11-15 age group.  It is called The Diet for Teenagers Only by Carrie Wiatt and Barbara Schroeder.  The book is written in a simple, practical manner that would appeal to young girls.  It has a great intro discussing whether or not you need to lose weight, what’s going on during puberty, health risks of being overweight, and some basics of good nutrition.  It includes some easy, healthy and tasty recipes.  There is also a good deal of information on label reading (lots of side by side comparisons) and what constitutes an appropriate portion size.

To give you a flavor of the book (no pun intended), I have included a yummy muffin recipe below.

Magic Low-Fat Strawberry-Cinnamon Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup margarine, melted

3 tablespoons 1% milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup pure fruit strawberry jam, no sugar added

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Put a muffin liner in each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan.  Coat the liners with cooking spray.
  2. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, baking powder, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, and salt, whisking well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, margarine, milk, and egg, whisking well.
  4. Make a well in the center of  the flour mixture.  Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist (don’t over mix!)
  5. Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each liner.  Top the batter with 1 teaspoon jam.  Top evenly with the remaining batter.
  6. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over the batter.   Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly brown on top.
  7. Remove the muffins from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
  8. Enjoy!

I really like this book because it is a resource for our daughters to refer to – not us telling them what they should or shouldn’t be doing.   The only thing I don’t like about this book  is the title.  I’m afraid girls might think it sounds kind of corny.  However, it really is written well for its intended audience.  Quite frankly, this book might be appropriate for any young girl to read.  If your daughter seems unreceptive to the idea, just leave a copy on her pillow.  If nothing else, maybe she’ll sleep on it and avoid getting a pillow crease mark on her face…

“Daughter, I cannot give you anything so complete or perfect or pure.  But I can give you something better.  Your body…and the fierce love of it that no one can take away.”

Linda Nemec Foster, from the poem “History of the Body”

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2 responses

  1. As an RD working with pediatric obesity (and Eating Disorder) patients, I wouldn’t be concerned about teens finding it corny, but that I would be insinuating they need to diet and eat low-fat foods. Though I haven’t read the book myself, and I hope I am wrong, but my initial reaction to the cover and title is that it is giving the message to an already fragile age group that ‘diets’ are necessary, and looking skinny (as the words of the body are!) is what is expected.

    • Jenna, thanks for your input. I agree with you regarding the cover of the book -it definitely could be improved upon! I have had specific patients (and parents) who have found this book useful. I don’t think the message of the book is that you must be thin. I feel it provides helpful guidelines to those teens/adolescent girls who are concerned with eating well, with or without the need for weight loss. Thanks for reading and appreciate your comment.

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