10 Best Pre-Game Snacks for Your Young Athlete
Sometimes it’s all you can do to get your child out the door with all of his equipment and make it to the game on time.
And in that hurry, nutrition is often left behind. But the honest truth is that nutrition should be a major piece of “equipment” for your child because he will not perform his best on an empty tank or on a tank filled with junk.
Your child should eat a pre-game snack about half an hour before she steps onto the court or field. This snack should provide easily digested carbs, and perhaps a little protein and fat.
Here are some simple pre-game snacks that meet those requirements. Remember, snacks this close to game time should be carbohydrates that are easily digested.
Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
“I’m a big fan of peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole grain bread,” says Tavis Piattoly, MS, RD, who works with the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. “The combination of healthy fat and protein, along with the fiber from the whole grain bread, provides the athlete with the optimal combination of nutrients to keep [him or her] fueled for a longer workout. Athletes are usually coming off a three- to five-hour fast right before practice and will need calories to get through a longer practice.” (Stack Media)
A quick fruit snack to top off energy and fuel the brain could include bananas (high in potassium), apples (high in sugar and moderate fiber)”, melon slices, or grapes.
Fuel up with some Come Ready Protein Bars(24g Protein). They have no artificial sugars or chalky aftertaste. Flavors include Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, and Caramel Pretzel Crunch.
Make your own trail mix with almonds, peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dried fruit, and/or granola. Add dark chocolate chips, whole grain cereal, or light popcorn to change things up a bit.
Buy the low-fat snack size. Pair it with snack-sized canned fruit, tuna, or green pepper and tomato.
Frozen fruit bars
Choose ones with fruit or fruit chunks at the beginning of the ingredients list.
Buy the salt and fat/free kind.
Choose low sugar options (no Captain Crunch or Frosted Flakes!ls alone or mixed with nuts, raisins or dried fruits.
Buy it plain or with fruit added. Add your own fruit or granola.
Carrot or celery sticks
Dip them in hummus and serve with a half a piece of whole wheat pita bread.
It takes Planning
It’s not always convenient to give your child healthy snacks. Eating healthy usually takes planning and preparation. But it’s just as important for your child’s performance as practice.
“Proper sports nutrition is recognized as a vital building block in athletic performance,” said Leslie Bonci, a nationally renowned sports dietitian and Chief Nutrition Officer for Come Ready. Don’t handicap your child’s performance; Give him–better yet teach him—foods that will help him play his best.