Do you have young athletes at home? Ensure your young champ gets the best nutrition to support optimal growth and athletic performance. Whatever be the sport – eating right is your youngster’s secret weapon for top-notch performance.
To support your search for reliable nutrition advice for young athletes, we have listed down a few tips below:
Athletes need a good amount of protein to build and repair the hard-working muscles. Hence, ensure you regularly prepare protein-rich food recipes for kids who are athletes. One protein-rich meal a day will keep your child lively and energized throughout the day.
Protein-rich foods include: Poultry, meat, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts, tofu, dairy, etc
Include Carbs for Energy
Studies show that athletes who participate in sports, such as soccer, volleyball, football, basketball, etc, should include more carbs in their diet plan. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the brain and body to function properly. It eradicates fatigue and allows the athlete to compete at higher levels for a longer time.
Carbs-rich foods include: Whole grains, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, brown rice, beans, whole oats, whole grain cereals, fresh fruits like banana, vegatbles like potato, etc.
Calcium and Iron are Important Minerals for Athletes
Calcium and iron are two essentials minerals for athletes. Ensure you include them in your child’s diet plan. Calcium helps build strong bones to resist breaking and fractures. While iron helps supply oxygen to the different parts of the body.
Calcium-rich foods include: Low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Iron-rich foods include: lean meat, fortified whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and green leafy vegetables.
Pre-Game/ Practise snack
Ensure you feed your kid healthy snacks three hours before the event. However, your snack needs to be low in fats, since fat takes longer to digest. Instead, you can prepare a snack that’s moderate in carbs and protein. Examples like scrambled eggs, grilled vegetables wrap, vegetable soup, etc make a nutritious pre-game meal option.
Post-Practice Mini Snack
Foods that help replenish lost energy should be consumed after practice and game sessions. Health experts recommend including carbs in your child’s diet plan – post the game or practice session is over. Sliced fresh fruits, low-fat yogurt, and smoothies are some of the best options to choose.
Hydration during the Game/Practice
Water should be the primary and the most important element in your child’s diet plan – if he or she is an athlete. Water will not only replenish lost fluids but will also help the child stay active and sharp throughout the day. However, avoid offering energy drinks or canned sports drinks. If your child isn’t convinced to drink plain water all the time, try preparing some infused water or fresh fruit juice at home.
Skipping Meals – Not allowed
If your child is a serious athlete, ensure he/she doesn’t skip any meal. Incomplete or partial meals will make your child feel tired and worn-out.
That’s not all! Skipped meals also lead to binge eating later in the day. When kids skip the main meal of the day they end up loading on junk food, later in the day. This practice will not only hinder your child’s performance but will also make him/her physically weak later in life.
Lastly, remember that every child is different. So try to understand what works best for your child. If you wish to get a personalized diet plan for your athlete child – get in touch with Kanupriya Khanna! A well-known child dietician in Delhi – Kanupriya will give you a clear-cut diet plan based on your child’s age, gender, and activity level.