As the Spring season fast approaches, competitive sports and recreational activities are getting into motion. From swimming to baseball to simply playing outdoors, these active events should be fueled with good nutrition. The government recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Whether your home hosts Olympians or weekend warriors, here are helpful tips to gear up for the season ahead!
Covering The Food Bases:
Kids need a variety of nutritious foods to help them grow and to give them the best fuel for after-school practices and games.
Carbohydrates: the main source of energy for exercise! Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits contain carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health.
Snack Tip: Low-fat vanilla yogurt with granola & fresh berries.
Protein: helps build muscle. Foods such as chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, beans and legumes help provide all-day energy.
Snack Tip: An apple with string cheese.
Healthy Fats: main source of stored energy. Best foods sources: nuts, seeds and avocados.
Snack Tip: Whole grain crackers with peanut butter (or sun butter if allergies are a concern).
The Hydration Station:
Children are very different from adults, especially when regulating body temperature: Did you know that children and adolescents experience greater heat accumulation and heat stress during physical activity?
- It’s important to remind kids to hydrate before, during, and after exercise.
- Slice up a whole watermelon for hydration and good nutrition that everyone loves!
The Home Run: Carbohydrates + Protein + Healthy Fats = Energy Balance for an Active Body (bonus: hydrate often!)
– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.