It is important to nourish growing bodies with energizing foods and snacks. Active kids are healthier kids – and don’t forget that good nutrition supports good health and enhances performance. Paying attention to your child’s nutritional needs and providing before, during and after the game can give them a winning edge —not just on the field, but in the classroom, too.
Your body needs carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluid to fuel it for sports and play. To grow and develop, your body needs a variety of healthy foods from fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Healthy food will give you the energy to perform at your best!
Carbohydrates are the body’s fuel and energy source. Choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and cereals, beans/legumes, and starchy vegetables. Fruits and milk or milk products are also good sources of carbohydrates and contain essential vitamins and minerals.
Protein builds and repairs muscles, skin and cells in the body. All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered good sources of protein.
Fat provides your body with energy, protects body organs, plays a role in the immune system, and assists in many body processes. Choose “heart healthy” fats including polyunsaturated fat, such as fish oil, flaxseeds, and nuts and monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil and canola oil.
Snacks & Sports
When choosing snacks for your kid’s, it is important to include a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to provide your child with the proper fuel they need for performance. Having balanced snacks helps to keep energy levels steady throughout activity and enhances performance.
Taking in enough water and other fluids is also key to good sports performance. Fluids help to cool the body during sports and also transport nutrients throughout the body. Here are some tips for keeping your kid’s hydrated:
1. Thirst is not a good indicator of need. Encourage kids to drink water before, during and after activity or sporting event.
2. Have kids bring a bottle filled with cold water to each event.
3. For events lasting one hour or less, water is best.
4. For vigorous activity lasting 90 minutes or more, sports drinks or diluted juice may improve endurance. Replenish with Capri Sun Roarin Water Wild Cherry or a refreshing cold Gatorade.
When planning meals, the best balance for active kids is 50-55% of calories from carbohydrates, 10-15% from protein, and 25-30% from fats. Use MyPlate as a guide to what your food plate should look like.
1. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
a. Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert.
2. Make half your grains whole grains
a. To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product—such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice.
3. Choose lean protein
a. Choose lean meats when possible such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, and cold water fish. Other good sources of protein are eggs, milk, nuts, seeds, and beans.
4. Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
a. They have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.
5. Foods to eat less often
a. Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt. They include cakes, cookies, ice cream, candies, sweetened drinks, pizza, and fat meats like ribs, sausages, bacon, and hot dogs. Use these foods as occasional treats, not everyday foods.
NuVal Nutrition Scoring System
Meijer wants to help families make healthy food choices. In every Meijer store, we have introduced NuVal, an easy-to-use, science-based food nutrition scoring system. This system considers more than 30 nutrients of a product and boils the information down into one single number that can be used to compare foods. Scores range from 1 to 100. The higher the nutritional value, the higher the NuVal score. Look for NuVal scores on the shelf price tags of your favorite store brand and national brand products and easily compare them to make healthier choices. “Trade up” foods to get higher scores at your next meal and snack.
Use NuVal to help make healthy choices for your kid’s snacks. Snacks help provide nutrients and energy children need to focus and play well. Try some of these snack ideas:
1. Jif Naturals Peanut Butter & Meijer Grape Jelly Sandwich on whole grain bread.
2. Rice Cakes with Jif Naturals Peanut Butter and sliced banana.
3. Nabisco Fiber 5 Grain Crackers with Meijer 2% Cheddar Cheese slices.
4. Meijer Low- Fat Yogurt Cups with Kashi Mountain Medley Granola.
5. Mott’s Applesauce Cups with Meijer raisins and Meijer Walnuts.
6. Nature Valley Fruit & Grain Bar
7. Turkey & Pepper Roll-Up- Oscar Mayer Select Slow Roasted Turkey slices with Cracker Barrel Havarti Cheese Slices and sliced red bell pepper
8. Oscar Mayer Complete Chicken Tortilla Lunchables with Fruit
9. Kraft 2% Milk String Cheese
10. Ziploc Sandwich Bag Salad- mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, baby carrots and 1 tbsp. Meijer Light Italian Dressing
For more snack ideas visit www.meijermealbox.com and simply type the word “snacks” into the ingredient box to print recipes and shopping list. For more nutrition information and a weekly menu plan, visit www.meijerhealthyliving.com.
Posted on Sun, September 2, 2012
by Healthy Living Dietitians filed under