Healthy Nutrition for Athletes

/ / Children's Flag Football, Columbus, General, Healthy nutrition for young athletes

We are built out of the foods and fluids we put it our body: build something STRONG.
-Heather Mangieri , Author of Fueling Young Athletes

Healthy nutrition for athletes, especially youth athletes, is essential in their success with Play Fanatics.  Kids need fuel to be their very best on and off of the field, therefore it is important to properly support their developing bodies.  Each day, parents are bombarded with the latest supplements and sports drinks for youth athletes, which can be overwhelming and even costly.  Monitoring food labels can also be very time consuming. Encouraging healthy nutrition, however, can have a long lasting impact on a child’s health, as well as increase their potential with Play Fanatics.

Top 10 Ways to Support Healthy Nutrition for Your Athlete

1. Plan meals ahead:  Although planning meals can be tedious, this will lessen the likelihood of eating fast food after a long evening of practice time.  

2.  Minimize the junk food in the home:  Reducing access to foods that are not beneficial for healthy development will reduce consumption.

3.  Stock up on superfoods:Providing your athlete with healthy options will help them acclimate to a balanced and nutritious diet.  Natural foods will also provide them with energy to perform their best.

4.  Take notice of food labels:  Be mindful of the amount of sugars and other less than desirable ingredients, which will also hinder their performance on the field.

5.  Emphasize good health rather than restrictive diets:  Restrictive diets may create unwanted consequences such as low self-esteem, eating disorders and obesity.  Focus on the benefits of proper consumption of a variety of foods to support overall development.

6.  Never skip breakfast:  Teach your athlete to properly fuel their bodies at the start of the day

7.  Always stay hydrated: Water, water, water!

8.  Educate your child:  Educate your athlete on proper nutrition and how it relates to their ability to perform. Provide them with a basic understanding of how their bodies perform at the most optimal level when properly nourished.

9.  Model healthy eating:  One of the biggest ways to encourage healthy eating is to eat healthy yourself!

10.  Variety is key:  Provide a variety of healthy items for meal time so that your athlete will get all that is needed.

Providing healthy nutrition for young athletes will support their developing bodies and allow them to feel and play at their best.  They will have the energy to support the demands of being a successful athlete.  Our athletes are constantly exposed to the convenience of unhealthy eating, however, it is, in fact, possible to reprogram your athlete to eating healthy.  Once the benefits of healthy eating are understood, this practice will become an essential element in the success of the athlete.