Healthy eating can stabilize children energy, sharpen their minds and even out their moods. Kids develop natural preference for foods they enjoy the most, so the challenge is to make healthy choices appealing. Therefore ensure that kid’s diet is as nutritious and wholesome as possible, even while allowing for some of their favorite treats. So essential nutrition for a kid involved in sports includes, balanced food diet with all of the following contents:
The major ingredient of nutrition to any sporting kid is water content in the body, reason behind which is avoiding dehydration and fatigue. A kid is supposed to take water before, during and after the exercise in a schedule as follows:
1. Before sports at least; 1-2 hours before sports: 3 to 7 ounces of cold water, 10 to 15 minutes before sports: 3-7 ounces of cold water and at least a good meal containing water like a slice of water melon.
2. During sport at least; after every 20 minutes 5 to 10 ounces of sports drink like water or juice. Any time a child feels thirsty, every time out and breaks and adjust water content during practice according to the weather and equipment worn.
3. After sports; this is essential to correct any fluid lost during the practice. After 30 minutes are over, drink chocolate milk or a special formulated drink containing protein and carbohydrates for energy recovery and muscle repair, Within 2 hours: 20-24 ounces of a sport drink for every pound of weight lost and eat good meal with foods containing water to replace all fluids lost during exercise and any lost through urination.
These foods are energy rich sports nutrition that coach’s need to ensure kids consume while in sports. Energy is required to supply fuel for working muscles especially the brain which is major organ in the entire body which controls all involuntary muscles. Types of carbohydrate food:
Simple carbohydrates: provides kids with instant energy. For example sweets and soft drinks.
Complex carbohydrates: take longer for the body to break down but have more extras like vitamins and minerals within them. For example breads, pasta, rice fruits, and vegetables.
Therefore parents should provide complex carbohydrates on main meals for performance while simple carbohydrates should be consumed right up until the child starts and also during exercises or competition.
Proteins are body muscle repair sources. Kids should have a regular schedule of protein. Here are some examples:
-For breakfast, provide full cream milk and soy milk, yogurt, eggs and cheese.
-For lunch, serve chicken in sandwiches, wraps, sushi, with salads or ham in sandwiches, with salad or cheese and peanut butter.
-For dinner, either leaf bean, chicken, fish, beans, tofu, lentils or other legumes.
-For snacks choices can be almonds and cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and soy milk.
Proteins are important for muscle building, fighting infections and for tissue growth. For athletes proteins are less suited because they impair performance thus tire quickly. Therefore for athletes they should mostly use carbohydrates. For kids taking proteins without enough sleep it is not advisable since most of the proteins don’t get to be metabolised completely in the body.
Fats are not often healthy as an energy source though may be of important in starvation, that is in case of carbohydrates and proteins absentia. Even though they should be avoided, low fat foods are important for health and are key as an energy source for young athletes.
Variety of food
Variety is the spice of life. A healthy lifestyle is all about making choices; therefore kids involved in sports should not eat the same food all along rather try different new foods and recipes regularly. Food with high in carbohydrates and fibre, like grains veggies and fruits, are essential for good health of athletes.
Avoid junk food
Junk food is a broad category of foods that are relatively high in caloric content, but low in nutritional value. So, kids participating in sports should avoid any kind of junk food rather get introduced to preferential foods like cereals with milk, fruits or a sandwich before sport or exercise for maximum performance. Junk food lets kids gain weight gain and expose them to illness due to not proper introducing any defensive mechanism in the body, instead increase fat content that may go to an extend of blocking blood vessels resulting in heart failures, obesity and high risk to develop diabetes.