How to Keep Young Athletes Fed Before, During and After Games

Have a kid who can clear out a pantry and dinner-for-four in one sitting? On top of the necessary nutrients to grow, they need the right food and proper hydration to fuel those demanding practices and help them recover.
Keeping your kids fed, watered and prepared to play may seem like a daunting task, but with this healthy reminder, plus pre- and post-practice tips, they’ll be fed to perform.

A Healthy Reminder

Our active young athletes or rapidly growing teenage boys need both protein and carbohydrates! Why? The main source of energy for our brain and body is carbohydrates. Your young superstar’s muscles and brain run on this stuff. Think of a car running on gas – if the meter is always running right above “E,” it likely won’t get you very far!

Protein is equally as important, due to its role in muscle recovery. Adding in protein-rich snacks will help kids’ muscles recover from long practices and games and will provide them with the necessary building blocks for growth. I bet you already have most of these staple items in your pantry or fridge.

Now, here’s how to use these foods to their best potential before, during and after the games.

Quick Pre-Practice Energy

Top off your kiddo’s energy stores with one of these quick and easy power foods before hitting the field:

  • No bake oatmeal energy bites
  • PB&J on whole wheat bread
  • Whole grain pretzels and nut butter
  • Overnight oatmeal
  • Whole food fruit-and-nut bars
  • Land O’Frost Deli Snackers

Fuel Between Games

Young athletes and growing teens need lots of carbs to restock their energy stores and give them an extra boost between games and other activities. A go-to combo they’re guaranteed to make time to eat is a smoothie made with chocolate milk and a frozen banana.

Not only is it delicious, it also delivers protein, carbohydrates, calcium and Vitamin D. Don’t have time to blend? Just serve them an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk and a whole banana.

String cheese, easily peeled fruit like mandarins or clementines and whole grain pretzels or crackers work too! Any of these, with a glass of milk, are quick to eat and satisfy those carb cravings that kids want after a hard game.

After-Practice Recovery

After a long, hard practice or a grueling game, serve your athlete a healthy snack geared toward muscle recovery and replenishing energy stores. Here are some ideas:

  • Greek yogurt and fruit parfaits
  • Land O’Frost Sub Sandwich Kits
  • Whole-wheat crackers with Land O’Frost Deli Snackers

Don’t forget to keep your kids hydrated with healthy fluids like water with frozen fruit ice cubes for added flavor and vitamins.

See? With a little planning and some easy ideas, keeping your kiddo from running on “empty” isn’t as hard as it seems.

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