If your kids are into sport or other intense physical activity, they need nutrition to match. Here are 6 Nutrition Tips For Active Kids to perform better.
School has started and it’s likely that your little one has signed up for some sport or the other. In this age of couch potatoes, kids engaging in sports is great news, and needs to be encouraged. At the same time, when you have young athletes in the family it is your priority to take care of their health and nutrition. When you have physically active kids who need to perform at the highest levels, keeping a close watch on their diet is essential. Here are some fantastic tips on how to fuel active young athletes so they can keep performing at their best.Nutrition Tips For Active Kids 1. Never skip breakfast
Kids often jump-start their day by rushing to school or training without having breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is even more important for kids who are in constant motion and who have demanding training before or after school. Breakfast fuels them with the energy and stamina required to get through difficult exercise. As a parent, make sure that you always prepare nutritious breakfast or make a packed one when they are in a rush. Oatmeal with blueberries and bananas make a good breakfast, as well as toasted bread with eggs and fresh tomatoes. Keep up with quick and healthy breakfast recipes and energize your active kid smartly.2. Focus on quality over quantity
It is vital for kids to eat foods rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, as well as carbs. However, kids tummies are small and there’s only so much quantity they can eat in one go. That’s why it’s important to be smart and choose quality over quantity. For instance, opt for whole grain bread, steamed vegetables, raw fruit, and low-fat dairy products. Lean protein such as eggs, beans, yogurt, milk, and others are superb for young athletes. Wherever possible, try to get organic foods or at least natural products so that you’re fueling your kids with nutrients and not chemicals.3. Choose healthy snacks
Children love to snack! Unfortunately, left to themselves, they’re more likely to choose a bag of greasy chips instead of a handful of nuts. Snacking between meals is necessary for active kids, however, they should always have healthy options at hand. Foods like crisps, donuts or candy only fill them up with empty calories without providing nutrients. Quality snacks that can boost athletic performance are almonds, cashews, nuts, raisins, unsalted peanut, and low-fat yogurts. Raw fruits and vegetables are a great snacking solution as well. A plain fruit salad or a bar dark chocolate is also a tasty option for dessert between meals.4. Hydration is key
Fluids are an essential part of nutrition. As kids tend to suffer from heat-related illnesses more often than adults when they are active, hydration should be their top priority. Most young athletes need about 2-3 liters of water per day. Kids may forget to drink enough water, but in order to avoid dehydration, fatigue, or feeling sluggish they need to get enough fluids. Many exercises will be demanding enough, and when you add hot and humid weather or other climate mishaps, they may get dehydrated sooner than they know it. Be sure kids drink before, during and after exercise.5. Have three balanced meals
Just as kids shouldn’t skip breakfast, the same rule applies for lunch or dinner. Meals are the foundation of nutrients that their little bodies require to survive the hectic day. Children who skip meals are more prone to making poor and unhealthy food choices. If your child wishes to have good athletic performance, the key is having three regular healthy meals. Breakfast is the core of everything, then lunch should be rich in proteins, grains, fruits, and a little dairy. A balanced lunch and a light dinner will undoubtedly give your sporty kid the necessary push to perform better.6. Keep bones and muscles strong
After intensive exercising, kids get exhausted and the body’s muscles are broken down, and recovery needs to be done by food. They need nutrients like protein and calcium, which are essential for keeping the bones strong, muscles recuperated, as well as helping to transmit nerve impulses and helping muscles contract. Milk, both fat-free and low-fat, offers all these benefits, while also maintaining fluid intake. Chocolate milk is a good option – scientists have found that chocolate milk has about 27 grams of carbohydrate per cup and 10 grams of protein, which will repair and recover the muscles for the next session of training.
With these tips, you can make sure your active child’s nutritional kids are met, even during the off-season. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet throughout the whole year will ensure quality progress and a solid foundation during times of competition.Author
Ian Lewis is a father, writer, and a fitness nut. He’s passionate about many forms of strength training and spent years lifting all kinds of heavy objects. Ian’s favorite quote is “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” You can find him on Twitter.