Is Your Young Athlete Fueled By Unhealthy Foods?

There are 4 ways to stop your young athlete from eating junk foods that you need to know about if your child is involved in any kind of organized sport activity.

You are very likely familiar with the last minute scramble to find inexpensive snacks and drinks that the whole team will like on your scheduled day. It’s not easy to find healthy drinks and snacks quickly.

 

It’s just one more thing on the endless list of things that we moms (and dads) do for our kids.

Children are becoming involved in organized sports at early ages, as young as three years old.

 

Between the practices and the games our children are committed to anywhere from 2 to 7 days of the week.

a young athletic games winner

While they are benefiting from the physical activity, the junk foods and drinks they are often consuming at these events can easily cancel out those benefits.

In the busyness of our lives, it’s easy to not realize how often kids are eating and drinking processed foods with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, refined grains, trans-fats, artificial colors and flavors.

examples of drinks young athletes should avoid

4 Ways You Can Save Your Child Athlete From Junk Food Overload:

child athlete junk food overload should be prevented

#1)  As a mom, you can ask your child’s coach to consider allowing each player to bring his or her own snack and beverage, which will give you more control over what your child consumes.

#2) If that is not an option, you can let your child know that as his or her parent, you have decided that you are going to be packing healthy snacks for practices and games.

 

It is our responsibility to take care of our children’s health, and this is one way to do that. If your child resists,you’ll want to be consistent and also appeal to his or her desire to perform optimally, like his or her favorite professional athletes.

#3) Find a high school, college or professional athlete in your child’s sport that is a good role model for real athlete food nutrition.

#4) If you are tied into the snack schedule, whether it is for sports, school or church, set a good example. Take the extra few minutes or spend a little extra to buy a real food snack, like string cheese or fruit. Make some homemade whole grain cookies or protein bars. Keep the beverage a good water, which is what young athletes need most.

With kids, there’s no way around the craziness of our schedules, but as moms who love our kids, we need to be advocates for their health.

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We can do this through educating ourselves and through leading by example. We can always put to use the 4 ways to stop your young athlete from eating junk foods.

By: Angelle Batten

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What Should Young Athletes Eat And When

Nutrition for young athletes and meal timing, the food they eat as well as when to have their meals and snacks, is really very important. Young athletic students need to be taught and learn what to eat and the best times to eat it. This will depend on the activities they engage in.

Before exercise, players need the kind of nutrition that is going to keep them full for a long time by providing complex carbohydrates to give them energy. We will cover the healthy menu choices as you read on.

Eating a small snack is a good idea about 30 minutes to 1 hour before the activity. Larger snacks  should be eaten two hours before  while meals should be given 3 hours to digest.

This allows the body to process food properly and reduces the risk of illness or negative effects, such as cramps.  By eating at proper times before exercise, the training or competing, young sports persons ensure that they are fuelling their body appropriately for the work they will be doing.

After exercising, they should eat again. There is no exact rule for how many minutes or hours an athlete should eat following exercise. But eating soon after promotes healthy regrowth of muscles and it replenishes the body with vital nutrients, allowing the young athlete to recover faster.

The metabolism is elevated for at least two hours after exercise. Eating anytime during that period is appropriate and many nutritionists suggest eating within 60 to 90 minutes of activity. Eating during this period encourages the body to use the food as energy for muscles instead of storing it as fat.

What Young Athletes Need To Eat Before Exercise

Examples of healthy menu items to provide good carbs, some protein: 

healthy diet menu for young athletes before exercise

Fruit
Whole grains
Protein Powder Drink (please try to avoid Protein Bars)
Fresh Vegetable (raw or steamed)
Plain Yogurt (make sure it is just yogurt without added starch)

These foods are rich in complex carbohydrates, which increase the amount of stored energy in the athlete’s muscles and provide a long and sustained power. They also give adequate protein necessary for balanced nutrition. Some protein needs to be included in every meal and snack.

What Young Athletes Need To Eat After Exercise

after exercise a young athlete needs a healthy diet menu including whole grains, vegetables, protein young athletes healthy diet menu after exercise rich in protein and with greens whole grains are good for athletes, a part of healthy balanced diet menu  healthy diet menu for young athletes includes plain yougurt a good source of protein and probiotics 

To use energy as muscle fuel and not for fat storage in the body,  it is necessary to eat a mix of carbohydrates and (especially after a strenuous activity) a good amount of protein.  Protein is necessary to rebuild muscles and promote quick recovery. Carbohydrates provide long energy and should make up the larger part of food even after exercise.

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Protein should make up about 1/5 of the calories consumed after exercise. Athletes should consume between 300 and 400 calories within an hour of working out. Examples of good food choices for this period include:

A bagel and 3 ounces of tuna fish
Banana and plain yogurt

(remember you want 100% yougurt with no added starch, corn syrup guar gum and other compounds rutinely added to yogurt)

2 cups of oatmeal with blueberries and 2 cups of almond milk

You can modify the above examples and keep the menu interesting by using other grains like brown or basmati rice instead of the bagel, using wild salmon or chicken breast insead of tuna, different berries, different milk etc. Be creative. Kids get bored very quickly and easily so keep it full of surprises while adhering to the basic principles of healthy diet menu to achieve the desired nutrition for young athletes.

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Watch This Post Exercise Recovery Bevarage, Meal Video:

 

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What Should Young Athletes Eat

Nutrition for young athletes is infinitely important as it is for all children. It is often claimed that athletic children need more nutrients, particularly protein, in their diet.

Young Athletes Protein Requirement

While kids who are athletically active use more energy and certainly require more calories to replace it, more protein does not, contrary to popular opinion, add up to more muscle. This misconception most likely stems from the deterioration associated with protein deficiency, an extremely rare condition among American children. Nutritionists recommend a mere 15% daily intake of protein for athletes, with 50% allotted for carbs the body’s primary fuel.

Young Athletes And Supplements

Another common misconception is that kids who are active athletes need more vitamins than children who are not athletic. While some supplementation with carefully chosen natural vitamins and minerals may at times be helpful, great caution is called for. Taking too many supplements can lead to an overdose. A healthy, balanced diet is always best. The need for  supplements  arises in case of poor food choices such as fast foods, junk foods and supermarket ready made meals when they form a regular diet. Even then no supplements can fully make up for a well balanced healthy diet menu.

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Hydration For Young Athletes

Fluid requirements, on the other hand, are greatly elevated during any strenuous exercise, especially since lack of thirst is not considered a reliable indicator of sufficient hydration. The Center for Disease Control recommends drinking water every 15-20 minutes before, during and after exercising, especially in the heat. Avoid drinking pop and all carbonated drinks and also bottled reverse osmosis water as it is devoid of any minerals.

Bottled spring water is OK. Some athletes and nutritionists very highly recommend Kangen water.

To sum up the key points above, athletic children need extra food-energy but shouldn’t change the balance of calorie-type ratios in their diet. Even more important than a balanced diet for an athlete is constant attentiveness to their hydration schedule.

Timing Of Meals

Eating  directly before a vigorous activity will slow athletic performance.

Sugar And Temporary Energy Boost Myth

The energy rush we get from sugar strolls by leisurely more than it rushes.

The body relies on stored energy in the form of glucose stored in the muscles and liver. So not only is the sugar useless, but it can even increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems such as cramps and nausea according to Suzanne Nelson Sc.D. RD, University of Washington.

Parents Role In Young Athletes Nutrition

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Incorporate a little fun and variety in the menu of your young athlete. Keep in mind that meal times are a perfect opportunity to embed a positive outlook on healthy eating in your children. So try to keep it fun and avoid conflict. Also, feel free to indulge them in their favorite foods occasionally (variety is a great way to build excitement and a positive attitude towards nutrition). Just don’t compromise healthy eating right out of their routine. Consider keeping a daily food diary. It will help to make sure that you stay on track. Always remember who decides the menu. Balanced diet menu is healthy diet menu and it will provide good nutrition for young athletes.

By: Alex Tatarinov-Levin

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

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Nutrition For Young Athletes Lecture In Front Of Kid Athletes Video: