Today’s guest post comes from Zack Knight, MS, RD, LDN, ACSM-CPT. Zack is passionate about helping kids and families live healthier lifestyles through nutrition and fitness. For more from Zack, follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Kids today are bombarded with advertisements on television, magazines, and even in pop-ups on their favorite mobile games trying to sell them on the next big product that’ll give them that burst of energy to take their performance up a notch and get them the gold. Whether it’s a sports drink or the coolest new tube of energy goo, more likely than not they aren’t much more than a refined mix of electrolytes and carbohydrates for quick ingestion and utilization in a flashy package.
While these can be a good supplement to a balanced diet for active adult athletes, when we’re talking about kids a more “whole foods with fruits and vegetables” approach will likely provide them with the same amount of macronutrients with the added punch of fiber and deliciousness that will take performance to the next level!
Active kids need more than just a flashy package and lots of sugar to help provide them the nutrients they need for proper health and good performance in sports. Snacks before or after a workout or competition can help kids perform their best, feel better, and can even promote camaraderie with their fellow athletes by sharing a well-deserved snack together. Much like the common goal of victory, food can be a great uniter and bond teams together in their pursuit of better health and performance!
Below are 10 examples of good snacks for those active kids in your life!
Healthy snacks for athletes of all ages should contain a good protein source, be rich in carbohydrates, and low in fat. Good proteins are to help those growing muscles grow big and strong. Carbohydrates provide energy and maintain good blood glucose levels during activity. Keeping snacks lower in fat is important because athletes need to utilize the energy from snacks to remain feeling their best and performing well, and fats take longer to breakdown, slowing digestion, and increasing the possibility of sluggishness on the field!
Easy Snacks Packing a Punch with Protein and Fruit/Vegetables
Fruit or Vegetable + Lean Protein = A Healthy Snack for Active Kids + Athletes
- Celery + Peanut Butter
- Pear Slices + Cheese
- Mango + Greek Yogurt
- Frozen Berries + Milk = Smoothies
- ½ Banana + Walnuts
- Apple Slices + Almonds
- Peaches + Cottage Cheese
- Carrot Sticks + Hummus
- Cucumber Slices + Turkey Slices + Whole Wheat Crackers
- Snap Peas + Yogurt Ranch
All these snacks have two main ingredients, a fruit or vegetable and a lean protein source. Much like a team, separate they are merely parts of a whole. Together they make up a driving force that can be utilized to help kids feel good, perform better, and build lasting bonds when shared with their friends and teammates.
The snacks mentioned above are merely examples, however. That is where you, the reader, comes in! Try out some of these examples and get creative with your snacks and with your kids! Just remember this, food isn’t just fuel, it’s fun!