Thursday, 31 January 2019

Published Thursday, January 31, 2019 with 3 comments

Easy Snacks for Young Athletes

Need snacks on the go for your little athlete? Here are some simple and healthy snacks that help provide the right nutritional balance at the right time.

Keep these stocked:

·        Fruits – easy to carry and non-messy to eat like apples, oranges, banana, grapes, blueberries, strawberries

·        Single serve juices (sugar free), milk etc.

·        Single serve sugar-free yogurt packs

·        Granola bars

·        Whole grain crackers, pretzels

·        Nuts

·        Sugar-free fruit sauces, jams

·        Whole grain pretzels

·        Fish chips (on-the-go packs)

Pre-practice/ pre-game

Kids should be given snacks around 3 hours before the kid starts playing. Ideally this snack should include easy-to-digest carbohydrate, some protein and ideally, no fat. Carbohydrate will bring in the bout of energy that will help in performance during the work out or the game. 

Good pre-practice snacks include:

·        One portion of cereal or grain snack and a fruit.
o   Cereal and grain snacks you can choose from:
§  Peanut butter, whole grain crackers, granola bars, whole grain pretzels

·        Preferably serve fresh fruits, but you can also look at serving fruit leather or fruit sauces that do not have added sweeteners.

Important: Do not feed the kid an hour or less prior to the game. Ideal time would be 3 hours before the game but if there’s a time crunch, you could look at two and a half hours or maybe 2 hours, if you are really hard-pressed for time. But in that case also, feed easy digesting carbs so that the kid does not have stomach ache while playing. Banana would be ideal. Do not feed dairy even 3 hours before the game. Dairy takes a lot of time to digest and can cause abdominal pain while the body works out.

While playing or working out

While the kid is playing, her body does not need nutrition. All it needs is hydration. Water works best. Sports drinks are good too, but personally I advise against them, since natural is best for kids. if your child sweats a lot or gets muscle cramps while playing, make this all-natural sports drink at home for her.

Squeeze a lemon in one-liter lukewarm water. Add half a teaspoon of salt and one-two teaspoons of sugar. Mix well. empty this mixture in a sports bottle that’s convenient for the child to use while playing.

Serving this all-natural sports drink will keep the child hydrated while keeping up the essential mineral and salt balance of the body. Plus, you can save the money you put into buying expensive sports drinks.

After practice/game

After the game, body needs extra carbohydrates and proteins to repair and rebuild the muscle and tissue damage that occurs while playing. Before the child gets her wholesome meal, a snack after the game is a good idea.

The ideal snack should include one portion of grain snack, one portion of fresh fruit and either milk or yogurt along with it. The single serve yogurt, milkshake and hummus packs will come in handy here. You can also serve nuts to the kid after the game. Popcorn with cheese sprinkled can also be a good idea.

The meal you serve after the game should contain veggies, lean meat and eggs amongst other things like bread or pasta.



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