Mondays Tommy has floor hockey, Wednesdays Suzie has dance practice, and Ben has soccer on Fridays. When the weeks are jammed-packed with physical activity for the whole family, you need to be able to keep everyone energized. We have nutrition tips to help you keep up with your childrens' on-the-go demands.
First and Foremost: Keep hydrated
Hydration is very important to athletic performance and general health, especially for young kids who are at increased risk of dehydration and other heat-related illnesses. Send your kids off to school with a fun, reusable water-bottle to encourage water consumption throughout the day. Serve water with every meal, especially post-practice meals. If you're cramped on time and Suzie has to snack in the car on the way to dance, keep some extra water bottles in the car!
Protein is important pre- and post-activity, but especially pre. A chicken sandwich, some scrambled eggs, or some rice & beans are ideal meals if you have the time to prep before activities. When you don't, cut up some apples for dipping in peanut butter or almond butter. Trail mix makes a good protein-rich snack too, or pick up some fruit & nut bars from the grocery store to pack in the kids lunches (or keep in the car for on-the-go).
Don't forget to carb-up for more energy on the soccer field! Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are the best sources... and easy to fit in to any pre-game snack or meal.
Kids will be tired after working out and burning off their energy; You need to give it back to them in healthy increments. Your kids should be snacking on fruits and veggies after a game. Have a banana ready, or go home to have a veggie stir-fry for dinner. So muscles don't cramp up and to help with fluid balance and absorption, the body needs sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. A beverage high in electrolytes will help re-hydrate and replenish, but watch out for big-brand sports drinks with excess amounts of sugar in the ingredient list. We found some tasty-looking recipes for home-made sports drinks at http://www.mommypotamus.com/homemade-electrolyte-sports-drink/.
For more on Health & Safety: http://www.canadiannanny.ca/blog/cat/health_safety/