Feeding Your Kid for School Sports

Aug 17, 2023

 by Abby McCoid

The start of the school year seems like the perfect time to dive into how to feed our kids for sports. Just as a car needs fuel to run, our young athletes need the right food to perform at their best. So parents, get ready, because we're about to dish out some tasty tips to keep those sports stars shining!

1. The Essential Food Combo

Let's break it down: think of your kid's food like a team, with proteins, carbs, and healthy fats playing the lead roles. Picture proteins as the muscle builders, doing the repair work and adding muscle like a construction crew. Carbs? They're like the energy boosters, giving them the oomph for quick sprints and jumps. Healthy fats are the steady workers, keeping things running smoothly like a well-oiled machine.

Keep this in mind for regular day-to-day meals for your kids, and for you! Make sure they contain a protein source, a bit of fat and healthy carbs. 


2. Keep 'Em Hydrated

Dehydration is the sneaky enemy that can mess up a kid’s game faster than a surprise plot twist. So, remind them to drink plenty of water. Whether they're dribbling on the court or sprinting on the track, staying hydrated is their secret weapon. If it’s an extra-hot day or your young athlete is particularly sweaty, a drink with electrolytes like Gatorade or Liquid IV is a good choice.

3. Smart Pre-Game Snacks

When it comes to pre-sports practice snacks for kids, it's important to provide a balanced combination of carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle support, and a small amount of healthy fats. Here are some nutritious snack ideas that fit the bill:

  • Apple Slices with Nut Butter: Pair apple slices with almond, peanut, or sunflower seed butter. The combination of carbohydrates from the apple and the nut butter provides sustained energy.
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt with granola and fresh berries. Greek yogurt is high in protein and the granola provides carbohydrates and fiber.
  • Banana and Peanut Butter Roll-Up: Spread peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, place a banana in the center, and roll it up.
  • Turkey and Cheese Wrap: Roll up lean turkey slices and cheese in a whole grain tortilla for a balanced combo of protein and carbs.
  • Cottage Cheese with Fruit: Top a bowl of cottage cheese with sliced fruit like peaches, strawberries, or pineapple. This provides protein, carbs, and vitamins.
  • Fruit Smoothie: Blend together banana, berries, Greek yogurt, and a splash of milk for a nutrient-rich and easily digestible snack.

Remember to consider the timing of the snack. Ideally, kids should have their snack about 30 minutes to an hour before their sports practice to allow enough time for digestion. If it’s an early morning practice and your kid is just waking up or they need quick fuel right before activity, consider a Rice Krispie bar, granola bar or ripe banana- a fast digesting carb is your best bet for quick fuel immediately before a game or practice.


5. Post-Game Feasting

After the game, it's time for a satisfying meal. Again, include carbs, fats and protein for a satisfying, balanced re-fueling

You've got the game plan, now let's get after it! Feeding your young athlete isn't just about eating – it's about giving them the right kind of fuel. Every bite they take gets them closer to their goals, whether it's on the field or in their everyday life. Cheers to serving up success and supporting our champs as they conquer challenges on and off the court or field!