Your children's nutritional needs change depending on their activity level and sport. “Sometimes parents overestimate the actual energy expended and overcompensate calories, sugar and sodium in the meals and snacks surrounding the activity,” says Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and author of the children's book The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice.
What are the best snacks for each sport?
Keep your runner or swimmer feeling motivated with snacks that keep his or her energy up.
“Endurance snacks are typically a little higher in carbohydrates, potassium and sodium to ensure that the electrolytes stay within normal ranges during prolonged activity like running, swimming, cycling, or a long intense game or match,” says Dr. Kantor.
He recommends snacks like trail mix, as well as other high-nutrition snacks including:
Dr. Kantor says that water is very important for kids; however, avoid traditional sports drinks which can be loaded with excessive sodium and sugar which can actually hinder the performance of your child.
Instead, serve your kids a drink you can feel good about. Try the new Mott's juice drink options, like Fruit Rush Punch and Wild Grape Surge, which come in handy 8-ounce bottles that are perfect for snack duty. Another delicious option from Mott's is Strawberry Boom, sold in 64-ounce bottle perfect for filling portable drink bottles. All flavors contain less sugar than other juices, and have a full serving of fruit per cup.
Even though high-sugar snacks provide a temporary burst of energy, they soon leave kids feeling tired and lethargic. Instead, provide high-protein foods and healthy fats to provide long-term energy for your soccer or basketball player. Thea Runyan, the lead behavior coach for the Packard Pediatric Weight Control Program at Stanford University recommends the following:
More great options include high-protein beef jerky, honey sticks, oranges or sunflower seeds. Keep kids hydrated by including a drink with their snack, such as water or a juice box.
For sports like baseball, football or volleyball which require quick bursts of energy, Jasmine Jafferali, Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant and creator of the Snack Smart Solutions App, says you need foods that stabilize blood sugar and digest fast for their quick release of energy. Some options include:
Regardless of the sport, make sure your child is staying hydrated with water, coconut water or fruit juice with no artificial sweeteners, like those from Mott's.
If you want a special treat for the team, try these adorable sugar cookies!
This post was sponsored by Mott's.
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