NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Now that school is back in full swing, so are school sports! This morning registered dietitian, Natalie Rizzo stopped by our studio to talk about what the best snacks are for your student athlete.
3 Tips to Fuel your Child Athlete:
Pulses – I always recommend that parents pack a snack made up of the super-food group known as pulses, which includes dry peas, bean, lentils and chickpeas. They are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fiber, both of which are great for providing long lasting energy to your young athlete. While canned beans may not sound appealing to your little one, they will definitely enjoy a batch of crunchy roasted chickpeas. This salty snack is a great alternative to chips or other junk, and it’s loaded with protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals.
Alternatives to fruit – Fruit is a great healthy snack for young athletes, but it tends to get mushy and beat up in a backpack. Instead, I recommend packing dates and KIND Fruit Bites. Both of which are all natural sources of the carbs that kids need to power themselves through a tough practice or game. Dates are naturally sweet and full of essential nutrients for young athletes, while KIND Fruit Bites are made from just fruit and come in sealed and portable packages that you can carry around all day.
Staying hydrated – This is one of the most important aspects of performance for your young athlete. I suggest that parents buy a reusable metal water bottle for their child and let them carry it around school. Children are more likely to drink cold water, and most of the ones out there keep water cold all day. Fill it with ice in the morning and remind your child to stop by the water fountain to refill it throughout the day. You can also throw some sliced or frozen fruit into the water bottle, and the water will get infused throughout the day and start to taste fruity.
For more information or to get in touch with Natalie, go to NutritionALaNatalie.com