Summer is almost here with the kids, you know what that means! Sport, competitions, and lots of traveling! So how do we make sure our kids are getting the best nutrition while they are playing in the summer Charlotte heat? Our RD, Sarah Gwyn, has compiled two crucial summer sports nutrition tips for kids.
#1 Know how to tell if your kid is hydrated
Having your kids to tell you what color their urine is – urine is a good indicator of hydration status. The goal is a clear to pale yellow color. If it is darker, your camper needs to start drinking. Start with 8 to 16 oz. 1-2 hours prior to sports activity. Try to encourage your little athlete to stay hydrated through out activity.
If they are having difficulty with just water, try infusing fruit like berries, cucumber and, or lemon. If you are worries about electrolytes, be careful about giving your little one’s too much sugar ( like a whole 16 oz bottle of Gatorade). Instead, water it down so that you’re not overriding their bodies with sugar. Avoid sodas!
#2 Making sure they get the right nutrients
Young athletes need a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables. To help keep their blood sugar stable, aim for snacks that provide long-lasting sources of carbohydrates without added sugar and low to moderate in fat and protein. We’ve seen kids show up at camp with candy, pastries, and soda. While these provide an immediate rush of sugar, the energy goes quickly and they provide little, if any, supporting nutrients. So what foods help our kids fuel best for their sport?
Examples Pregame Fuel
- salted pretzels,
- animal crackers,
- granola bars,
- graham crackers,
- cereals like Mini Wheats or Honey Nut Cheerios,
- Greek yogurt,
- string cheese,
- nuts & trail mixes,
- rolled deli meats,
- and nut butter packets.
Examples of Game Time Fuel
- whole wheat crackers,
- fruit leather,
- whole wheat mini bagels,
- mini muffins,
- granola bars (with under 8 grams of sugar)
- Fruits like oranges, watermelon, cantaloupes -they are high in water and contribute to hydration!
Examples of Recovery Fuel:
Post training meals should include carbs to replenish depleted sugar and protein to build and repair muscles. A little sodium is also good to replace sodium lost through sweating. Examples include
- low fat milk or chocolate milk,
- meats like chicken and beef,
- fresh veggie sticks,
- and cheese!
If you have any other questions about nutrition or hydration, or would like more summer sports nutrition tips for kids, please feel free to contact us!
While you’re planning out the fruits and veggies to prepare for your kids, don’t forget to source locally! We shared 10 benefits to local produce and food in this post.