Heading to a long day of games and matches and need to keep athletes satiated from breakfast to dinner? Here are a few foods to avoid and what to bring instead.
Avoid: only simple carbohydrates
Kids who are participating in all-day events need a steady intake of carbohydrates, as well as proteins and fats, throughout the day. Therefore, it’s important to avoid only consuming simple carbohydrates, such as ultra-processed gummies, granola bars, cookies, and pastries. Instead, try chocolate milk, almond butter and jam sandwiches, or yogurt parfaits with granola and berries
Avoid: anything caffeinated
Young people are more sensitive to caffeine than adults. Caffeine can make kids jittery, exacerbate nerves, and lead to an energy crash that impacts their performance. Caffeine can also lead to dehydration. More specifically, most energy drinks don’t contain appropriate electrolytes, so sipping one can leave athletes depleted after a long day, especially in hot weather. Instead, try sports drinks, and even consider making your own! Find a single-ingredient fruit juice and dilute it down to 50 percent water and 50 percent juice. Then add a pinch of sea salt and a small spoonful of honey for a natural sports drink that won’t have athletes crashing on the field.
Avoid: fatty snacks
Pepperoni and beef jerky may sound like protein-filled, tasty treats, but on game days, these high fat and highly processed snacks are going to negatively impact athletes. They’re hard to digest and can lead to gastric distress in athletes, especially during harder efforts. Moreover, they won’t effectively fuel athletes as their glycogen stores drop throughout the day. Instead, try easier-to-digest finger foods like pretzels, fresh or dried fruits, or crackers while competition is going on.
Avoid: obvious allergies
Peanuts. Dairy. Gluten. Most teams are bound to have at least one food allergy. Ask ahead of time if any athletes have allergies and you can even check with your school or sports association since there may be some rules in place for what you can and can’t bring.Almonds are less likely to provoke an allergic reaction, so after checking with the team, try swapping almonds for peanuts to get athletes vitamin E and iron, as well as healthy fats. If you’re bringing milk products, such as chocolate milk, make sure you