Healthy Living Tips

How to Fuel Your Little Athlete on the Go

snacks for kids sportsHere we go again – straight from school to softball practice. I know I am not alone in the never-ending parent/kid shuffle. I am sure you worry about keeping your little athletes fed and powered up for a challenging day on the court or field, like I do.

Whether it’s softball, dance, soccer or basketball – it’s important to make sure we are providing our kids with appropriate snacks to keep them going when they are participating in athletic activities. And while I totally get the convenience of grabbing a granola bar or Pop Tart, is it really benefiting our kids nutritionally? Too much fat, too much sugar and not enough protein.

For our family, my goal is to provide Isabella and Cameron with a light, but healthy, option before they participate in their sport of choice. Ideally, something with a good balance of protein and carbs.

A few of my favorite go-tos are:

  • A piece of fruit with peanut butter – a banana or apple are easy to take along in the car
  • Deli meat and cheese rolled up – prep the day before and pre-bag so they can grab-and-go
  • Carrots and celery with hummus – fun to dip
  • Nuts and orange slices – great to eat in route to practice
  • Crackers and cheese spread – also great with red peppers, like a mild “popper”
  • Low-sugar protein bar – look for versions with 10 grams of sugar or less
  • Sushi – great combination of lean protein, veggies and starch
  • Trail mix with pretzels, dried fruit and almonds – make a batch at home so you know exactly what is going into it
  • Applesauce plus string cheese – sweet and filling

The protein in these options stays with my kids as they work up a sweat, and the carbs give them a nice, quick burst of energy.

It’s also important that we as parents model good food choices for our kids. Before you hit the gym or head off for a run, or hike, consider snacking on the items above for maximum energy, too.

  • Posted by  Candice Imwalle
  • Exercise for Health, Kids
About the Author

As a working mother with two small children, Candice Imwalle understands the challenge of incorporating healthy eating into daily life. In her job as a medical devices regional manager she encounters patients regularly who suffer from vascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes, most commonly caused by a lifetime of poor food choices. Inspired by her job, and the rising obesity rates for both children and adults in the United States, Imwalle decided to search for children’s books about the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle for her kids to read. The lack of options for this kind of children’s literature motivated Imwalle to write her own book – Sir Morgan and the Kingdom of Horrible Food. With a drive to educate children early, so they make good food choices and have a healthy adult life, Imwalle enlisted the writing help of her daughter Isabella and son Cameron, ages five and eight at the time) to assure the book was fun and interesting to younger readers.

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