What Should My Child Eat to Play Sports?
by Guest Blogger Susan K Wilkerson, RD, LD at Lexington Medical Center
A concerned Mom asked, “what should my child eat to play sports?”
When playing any sport, many parents scurry around making sure they’re children have the best equipment to play their sport to have the edge – gloves for baseball, goggles for swimming, cleats for football, shin guards for soccer, and so on.
Parents also need to provide the right fuel so children have the edge when they need it most.
Get your child or teen out on the right foot. Encourage 4 to 7 meals or snacks per day. You have to provide the calories for growth and development and the energy used during the sport. Quality counts! Don’t provide empty calories like chips, candy and soda thinking they will just burn them off.
Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel and make an excellent meal or snack before the sporting event. Good choices are pasta, rice, oatmeal, yams, dried fruit and whole wheat bagels.
Lean protein is not needed before the event but include it in a good post event meal. Some good choices are fish, nuts, boneless skinless chicken breast, egg whites, lean beef and pork, and natural peanut butter. Low fat milk and yogurt have provide protein too. No need for added fat. You get plenty from the protein sources.
~Peanut butter on a half of bagel with dried fruit on top.
~Oatmeal and fruit
~Whole grain cereal and low fat milk.
~Low fat granola and yogurt.
~Celery and low fat cream cheese.
~Handful for nuts and dried fruit.
Write in and tell us your healthful snack!