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Nutrition Tips for Parents of Young Athletes

by Scott Blewett of Blast Sports Training , May 8th, 2009

Breakfast. A good breakfast includes eggs, meat, whole wheat toast, natural fruit, juice (100% variety) and some water. Note that a good breakfast does NOT include Pop Tarts, Cereal, Toaster Strudels, Donuts, Muffins, or any other processed garbage. This tip is number 1 for a reason. We need to start getting our athletes used to eating a large healthy breakfast.

More Water, Less Sugary Crap. We need to get them used to drinking water as the main beverage. Read the labels of Gatorade or Powerade. Do you think it is a good idea to have them downing that much sugar? Same goes for soda.

Less Drive Thru. This goes for all drive through. If you can get it at a drive thru, you probably don't want it in your body or your child's. If you are in a pinch for time, go to a sub shop and order something that looks like grilled chicken, or steak wrap accompanied by a small bag of chips and some water.

Fruits and Vegetables. Try to find a couple of each that your kid likes and start putting them in lunches and dinners immediately. Don't send a granola bar to school, send a baggie of fresh fruit, vegs, berries or a banana.

Home Cooked Meals. These should make up the majority of the kids' diet. This is where they will get the most nutrients that will fuel their active lives.

Get Rid of Big Pasta Dinners Before Games. The old carbo loading feasts that often accompany a team dinner are a waste of time. Overloading on starchy pasta that isn't really good for you in the first place is a bad idea. The kids will have better results from a normal healthy meal.

Candy Bars. Candy bars are filled with crap. If kids really like them, try to trade them for Elevate Bars. These things are delicious and are made from mostly organic ingredients and would be a much better snack.

Meal Size. Kids are at an important age where portion control is crucial. They shouldn't be eating until they can't move; this only cements habits of overeating in the future and keeps our obesity problem in North American going. Teach them to eat until satisfied not stuffed. I hate seeing obese kids; it is usually not their fault.

Don't Become a Food Freak. Just because I have given you these tips doesn't mean you need to restrict everything and make their diets strict. Use them as guidelines and remember that they are still kids. What is going overboard? Drive thru more than once every 10 days is no good, but neither is counting their calories or grams of protein consumed.

Find a Happy Medium and Start Building Good Habits.

Post filed under: Health, Food & Drink

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