Is your child an athlete? Do they find it impossible to eat healthy while staying busy with a game schedule and traveling?

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November 6, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter

Talk to your child/teenage athlete about how their nutrition intake while competing will benefit them.  This is one of the most important times for them to NOT compromise their meals.

Check out a few of these suggestions to see if you can help them along the way!

  1. Plan ahead:  pack items in bulk for your child/teenager to bring with them; provide individual serving sizes of healthy foods such as apples, oranges, pears, Greek yogurt, string cheese, jerky, peanut butter and jelly, 100% whole wheat bread, tuna packets, rice cakes, granola, protein shakes, yogurt parfaits, fruit cups, Horizon low-fat chocolate milk, Clif and Kashi bars
  2. Try easy-traveling items: Instant oatmeal packets, whole fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, trail mix, dried fruit
  3. Always provide them with a BPA-free liter water bottle
  4. Check out the grocery stores located near the hotel where the team is staying: encourage the coaches and team to stop at one of the local grocery stores that are in the area where they are playing and stock up on nutritious snacks (saves time, money, and fuels them more efficiently)
  5. Look to see which restaurants are available: this is not the time for them to take a “vacation” from eating healthy!
  6. Talk about the best options if stopping at a fast food restaurant:  high fat food items will likely leave athletes feeling “heavy”; discuss building a meal based on a complex carbohydrate, lean protein, vegetables, and a fruit.  A complex carbohydrate would be baked potatoes, pasta, or whole wheat buns.  Focus on lean meats such as broiled or grilled.  Vegetables could be added to a sandwich or a side salad.
  7. As Lindsey Remmers a Certified Sports Dietitian says, “Choose the least processed items”.  This will aide in efficient digestion and metabolism, and leave your child/teenage athlete feeling great for their game.

Reference:  “On the Road Again”, T&C November 2012.

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Authors

Dr. Wali Gauvin

Kendra Fink RD CPT

Jessica Griffin: Intern

Julianna Yi: Intern

Marielle Mangano: Intern

Jackie Page: Intern

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