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Sports Fueling for Kids

posted Aug 10, 2017, 11:38 AM by
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends children and teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. One way children can reach this goal, is by getting involved in school or other competitive sports. But in order for children to perform at their best, they’ll need to eat the right foods to keep them fueled, strong, and growing. Here are some tips:

Pre-Game Three hours before the game, think nutrient dense, but easy to digest foods like a breakfast of lightly grilled potatoes with scrambled eggs and nutrient dense carbohydrates such as berries and orange juice or fat-free milk.

During the Game Hydration is key! Make sure your child is well hydrated throughout the game with small amounts of water. Also be sure to replace fluid losses after exercise by having your child drink lots of water. Foods such as bananas, potatoes and fat-free or low-fat yogurt or milk contain potassium and carbohydrates, which are important to help replenish after exercise.

Post-Game Having healthy snacks ready to go when kids get home from school is most important here as it ensures they fuel up with healthy options. Think cut-up fresh fruit with peanut butter, low-fat yogurt and smoothies.

Post-Game Family Dinner Carbohydrates are important to replenish lost energy and protein is important for muscle building. Be sure to include lean protein as part of dinner – think baked, grilled, or broiled cuts of lean meats such as chicken breast, salmon or tuna or steamed or stewed legumes. Add in whole grains and tossed vegetables and finish it off with juicy fruit desserts like baked apples or pears for a dose of healthy carbohydrates.

A balanced meal is the best way to make sure your little athletes keep growing strong and performing at their best. And with just a little planning, you are sure to keep them fueled throughout the day! For energy-boosting snack recipes click here.