'Lean Teen' class to provide nutritional tips for young adults

June 28, 1994|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer

Deborah Krolicki will soon take on the daunting task of teaching teens that a nutritious dinner doesn't mean pizza, fries and ice cream.

Ms. Krolicki, a dietitian at Carroll County General Hospital, will teach "Lean Teen," a program for teens 12 to 17 who want to learn about nutrition, body chemistry and healthy ways to lose weight.

The class will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, July 7-28.

A parent or guardian is encouraged to attend the classes with the teen so they can be aware of the appropriate foods to have at home.

"I think it's unfortunate there are so many young adults that look vTC at themselves and think, 'I'm too fat' because they're not accepting what they're made of," Ms. Krolicki said.

"There are a lot of us who look at models and football players and think, 'This is what I want to try to be,' and sometimes it's not possible because of body chemistry.

"Yo-yo dieting is not where it's at."

Although the class is called "Lean Teen," Ms. Krolicki said it is not restricted to overweight youngsters.

"It's for anyone who wants to be educated on nutrition, exercise and basic body chemistry," she said.

Marianne Harbin, 16, who plays soccer, volleyball and basketball, is not overweight, but she's taking the "Lean Teen" course to improve her diet. She said she wants to learn what foods will give her the most energy for her activities.

"I don't eat real healthy right now, and I want to know what's in foods like cheeseburgers that makes them bad," said Marianne, a junior at Carroll Christian School in Westminster, who avoids vegetables and has a weakness for chocolate.

Susan Harbin, Marianne's mother, will also take the course.

"It's been a long time since I've been into nutritional needs for kids," said Ms. Harbin, a secretary in Carroll County General's community health department.

Carroll County General decided to offer the course at the request of parents who had taken the hospital's swim classes, said hospital spokeswoman Gill Chamblin.

"They thought it would be a good idea to have a class for teens because that's when you start eating on your own for the first time," Ms. Chamblin said.

One of the goals of the classes is to teach teens how to develop eating habits that will prevent conditions such as obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Although teens' calorie requirements are much greater than those of the average adult, Ms. Krolicki said it isn't difficult to meet those needs in a nutritional way.

Depending on activity level, the average teen needs 2,000 to 2,300 calories a day, Ms. Krolicki said. On average, adults need 1,600 to 1,800 calories daily.

"There are ways of getting these calories without getting too much fat in the diet," Ms. Krolicki said.

The course will include an overview of the recommended daily allowances for certain food groups and ways to include them in a teen's diet.

"There are no wrong foods," Ms. Krolicki said. "The mistake is choosing too much of a good thing."

Fast food, a fixture in many teen diets, even has a place in a healthy meal plan.

For example, Ms. Krolicki recommends eating at a restaurant where you can make your own burger, and load up on lettuce and tomato to help meet vegetable requirements. Other tips for lowering fat content in a fast-food meal include substituting mustard and ketchup for mayonnaise, ordering a small portion of fries instead of a large one and having milk instead of a milkshake.

Ms. Krolicki plans to discuss ways to make healthy lunches for school and how to put together a nutritious meal from the selections offered in the school cafeteria.

The cost of the "Lean Teen" program is $30. To register, call Carroll County General's community education department at 857-6935.

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