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As we head into the fall, school sports kick back up. It’s important to ensure that your kids and teens are receiving enough fuel to keep them going and to meet their needs. Today we’ll talk about key things to ensure their nutritional needs are met. 

  1. Enjoy a hearty breakfast 
  • Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and can be a great way to start off your day
  • Try foods such as: 
    • Whole grain cereal with milk and fruit 
    • Eggs, whole grain toast and fruit 
    • A yogurt parfait with fruit and granola 
    • Whole grain toast with peanut butter and a banana
  1. Eat snacks throughout the day
  • Snacks are important to ensure that your children’s energy levels are kept up, and to keep them going during their sports practices 
  • Snacks ideas: 
    • An apple and peanut butter 
    • A granola bar 
    • Vegetables and dip 
    • Cheese and crackers 
    • Pita and a whole wheat tortilla 
  1. Consume a balanced amount of carbohydrates and proteins
  • Carbohydrates and proteins are extremely important for those who are active. Carbohydrates are the main fuel source and are necessary for an active lifestyle and muscle recovery. Protein is essential for many biological processes, and is necessary for muscle building and recovery 
  • Carbohydrates
    • Before a practice/ exercising: Eat a light-carbohydrate rich snack such as half a peanut butter and jam sandwich, a banana with yogurt, and a few slices of cheese and crackers
    • Refuel after practice/exercising: Eat a combination of carbohydrates and proteins, such as a smoothie, sliced fruits with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, and a protein bar that contains carbohydrates
  • Proteins: 
    • Incorporate foods rich in protein at every meal: 
      • Cheese
      • Poultry
      • Nuts and Seeds 
      • Eggs
      • Fish 
      • Dairy 
      • Tofu 
    • Use food as the first choice for protein and not protein supplements 
  1. Hydration
  • Hydration is essential for many bodily processes such as temperature regulation, nutrient delivery, and lubrication of joints 
  • Aim to drink around 6-8 glasses of non-caffeinated liquid daily and have water as the first choice 
  • If exercising more than one hour, ensure that electrolytes are replenished through: 
    • Sports drinks 
    • Electrolyte powder
    • Fruits

All in all, it is extremely important to ensure that your child or teen has adequate nutrients to live out an active and healthy lifestyle to keep them at their best. For more tips and individualized guidance, reach out to a Registered Dietitian!