Your young athlete seems to be full of energy on the court and field, but could he or she be performing even better with the optimal nutrition before the game?
Some parents give their children whatever they’ll eat before a game just to get something in their systems. Try to force anything healthy, and many kids will turn their noses at it. That’s when we opt for the sugary cereal or toaster pastries, which are delicious but may not be the best grub when it comes to getting ready for the competition.
Help your kid power up before the whistle and replenish afterward with eight easy sports snacks and small meals.
Pregame Power Up:
- A cup of whole-grain pasta with a side of vegetables: Pasta packs the energy to stay full and hyped up during play. Carbohydrates serve as one awesome source of energy for the body, and because pasta is a complex carb, it’ll take longer to break down, keeping the tummy full.
- Popcorn and a banana: Popcorn is healthy and filling. A 2012 Nutrition Journal study found people who ate popcorn were fuller and more satisfied than the people who consumed potato chips. Add a banana to energize and ward off muscle cramps, and you’re good to go.
- Lean meat on whole-wheat bread with one fruit: Pump up with protein and grains. Try lean, sliced turkey or chicken on whole wheat. Add a fresh fruit, like blueberries, apple slices or strawberries, which offer a little sweetness without loads of sugar.
- Whole-grain crackers with string cheese: Nervous before the big game? Your child may not want to eat anything in the few hours leading up to tip off. Whole-grain crackers and cheese serve as a light snack that will still give him or her a little protein and complex carbohydrates.
- A hard-boiled egg with whole-grain crackers and hummus: Great for the car ride home after a big win. Repair muscles with protein from a hard-boiled egg and replenish energy with whole grains and chickpeas.
- Protein bites: Perfect for getting kids to eat a high amount of protein in a delectable, fun way. Protein bites combine protein powder with tasty ingredients like rolled oats, cinnamon, honey and chocolate. They come in an array of flavors, like coconut, oatmeal raisin and chocolate birthday cake. Because they build off of a few basic ingredients, protein bites leave room for you to get creative and add in whatever you want.
- A spoonful of peanut butter and rolled deli-meat slices: A simple protein-focused snack for postgame recovery. Give your child a few bites of natural peanut butter and some easy-to-eat rolls of sliced turkey, ham or chicken.
- Protein bar or a protein shake: Some protein shakes and bars taste terrible to both kids and adults; however, there are a few kid-oriented protein snacks they may love. Try an Orgain Healthy Kids chocolate protein shake or Clif Kid ZBar Protein peanut butter chocolate protein bar.
Fuel Up and Get Moving with Teams of Tomorrow
When your youngster is ready to get going, Teams of Tomorrow is ready to start shaping them into athletes of the future. TOT teaches basketball fundamentals, academic skills and agilities to encourage physical fitness and to jumpstart your child’s sports career. Register your child today for Teams of Tomorrow!