Maintaining adequate nutrition in active athletic children is of great importance to their overall health, growth, development and consequently to their sporting performance. A well nourished junior athlete will be able to play better and for longer, stay mentally alert and recover quicker from training and competition. However, an active child not getting enough total energy may become tired and lethargic and even struggle to maintain their enjoyment in sports and games.
Whether your child is just active and full of energy all the time (we all know how they love running around, falling, hurting and again running) or sincere and dedicated towards sports, they all require a certain nutritional guidelines. Nutrition begins from preparing breakfast for them or a snack after a sports practice. The challenge is to make sure the food served to them is fun, filling, healthy and eaten without resistance.
Whether your kid is just active, a potential sportsperson or just sedentary who loves to read, nutrition for all of them is required for optimal growth, peak performance, recovery and development. They will always benefit with a healthy nutritious routine. Lets discuss some tips to make sure you can incorporate nutrition at young age (be rest assured, any guidelines for kids are always followed with tantrums, so try your best to help them with optimal growth):
Ensure an adequate intake of all the essential nutrients that is carbohydrate, protein and fats. Don’t eliminate a food group. A high-fat diet is not healthy - but neither is a zero-fat diet.
Encourage active children to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. Fat reduced, complex carbohydrate snacks with some proteins are the best choice for active children. Such as low-fibre cereal with milk and fruit, a granola bar with curd and chicken sandwich on whole-wheat bread.
Ensure active children maintain a healthy body weight by balancing their energy intake with expenditure.
Encourage them to eat to their appetite which will vary from day to day.
Take nutritious snacks to sporting events. Self-catering is wiser than relying on local canteens.
Children can overheat and dehydrate quickly. Offer plenty of fluids before, during and after sports. They don’t often know they are dehydrated, so create a fluid guideline and making drinking water compulsive and mandatory.
Children from the time they are born are growing rapidly anatomically and biologically. Their needs are specific to their growth and require a set framework to attain peak performance & development. With the modern food choices, native nutrition is no longer followed. Seeking professional advice from a sports nutritionist and/or sports doctor to ensure the right intake and optimal health can be helpful in few fussy kids.
Every child is special & so is their diet.
What one eats today is a habit formed for the later life. Its best to start young and create healthy nutrition lifestyle for future.
It’s never too early! Stay Healthy!