It's no secret that many young athletes are over-extended, often playing on school and club teams in one or more sports, traveling for competitions, and squeezing in conditioning sessions. Two-a-day practices have become the norm for many athletes.
While this can lead to great sporting success, it makes eating right throughout the day more difficult. Here, TrueSport Expert Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, offers some tips for how to keep your athlete satisfied and ready to head to practice for the second time in a day.
A busy week for your athlete is likely a busy week for you between pickups and drop-offs, so make sure you have plenty of easy-to-eat food on hand before the school week begins. Sit down with your athlete and talk through what they should be eating during the day. Let them choose what options sound the most appealing to ensure they are fueling enough over the course of the day, rather than waiting until they are home for dinner to pack in the calories.
Don't skip breakfast
Often, one practice will be early in the morning, before school. For young athletes, it's tempting to stay in bed as long as possible and skip breakfast in favor of the snooze button. But if your athlete has an early morning practice, they still need to eat something beforehand. It doesn't have to be a heavy, large breakfast, says Ziesmer. "A really quick and light-on-the-stomach option would be a banana, maybe with a bit of peanut butter, and some water," she says. "But after practice, make sure they have something bigger for breakfast like a sandwich or a bagel with some carbohydrates and protein."