Youth athletes need proper nutrition to help them stay energized, focused, and fit. Their nutrition (or lack thereof!) can directly affect their performance, both on the field and off.
While it may be easier to grab a bag of potato chips on your way out the door, especially when you're running late because your kid can't find their water bottle (which for me feels like every other day!), they provide absolutely zero nutrition. Instead look for foods that are rich in protein and fiber, and avoid those that are sugary and over processed.
My boys always eat a snack about an hour to an hour and a half before their practices and games. Many times they will have another snack when we arrive back home.
Here are FIFTEEN healthy and energizing snack ideas to help your athlete play to their fullest potential:
- Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges)
- Greek yogurt (add fresh berries and granola for even more of a nutritional boost!)
- Whole grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews. Every now and then I'll even throw in some mini chocolate chips for a little added sweetness)
- Granola bars (be sure to check the sugar content first!)
- Boiled eggs (boil a bunch at the beginning of the week and keep them in the fridge until they're ready to be consumed)
- Smoothie (there are a ton of easy, delicious recipes on Pinterest)
- Veggies (carrot sticks, celery, cucumber slices. Dip them in hummus or low-fat ranch dressing for extra flavor)
- Popcorn (my boys absolutely love Trader Joe's Lite Kettle Corn!)
- String cheese
- Peanut butter (slab it on crackers, apples, or celery)
- Sandwich (lean turkey meat and cheese on whole wheat bread)
- Turkey roll-ups (they're like a sandwich, without the bread. Simply roll up slices of lean turkey, or their meat of choice. You can even roll them around cheese sticks!)
- No bake energy balls (click here for my favorite recipe!)
I hope you find this post helpful. I'd love to know YOUR athlete's favorite go-to snacks. Feel free to leave them in the comment section below!