URIDU Health Family Work

What are special health needs of girls?

Sometime between the ages of 10 and 15, a girl’s body begins to grow and change into an adult body. These can be exciting and difficult years. A young woman may not feel exactly like a girl or a woman - her body is somewhere in between and is doing new things she is not used to. What can make it harder is when no one talks about the changes, and so a girl may not know what to expect.

One of the most important things a girl can do to stay healthy is to eat well. Her body needs to get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals during her years of growth. A girl needs at least as much food as a boy. Getting enough to eat leads to less sickness and more success in school, healthier pregnancies, safer births, and a healthier old age.

Girls also need the right kinds of food. When a girl begins her monthly bleeding she will lose some blood each month. To prevent weak blood (anemia), she will need to replace the lost blood by eating foods with iron in them. Also, girls and women both need foods with calcium to help their bones grow strong.