Fuel for Fun - Healthy Snacks for Active Kids!
Good nutrition is important for everyone, especially young athletes. Offering snacks as a part of sport participation can help:
- Top-up the fuel needed by muscles — before sports and after;
- Reduce hunger;
- Celebrate a game;
- Model food choices that complement healthy exercise and good sportsmanship.
Fuel for Energy
Young athletes should be arriving at the practice or game with enough stored energy to serve them through its duration. Most of this energy comes from nutritious meals and snacks eaten well ahead of time.
|Time of game or practice||The energy comes from|
|Early morning||Dinner the previous evening and pre-bedtime snack; small breakfast|
|Late morning||Early breakfast;mid-morning snack|
|Evening||Lunch; afternoon snack|
Snacks at Breaks
Most children in community sports will not require a snack at half-time. Most will need fluids at this point. Water, juices or sport drinks are all useful for rehydration.
Celebration and Recovery
The end of a game is another important time for fluids: water, juices, chocolate milk or sport drinks. Cookies and donuts, while sometimes brought to celebrate a game, are poor choices for sport recovery. They also reduce the young athlete’s appetite for a healthy meal that should follow sport play. Half-time and celebration or recovery snack policies should be discussed by coaches and parents atthe beginning of the season.
The best foods for sport snacks will help the young athlete replenish energy, fluids and other nutrients that exercise has depleted. These snacks will also offer essential nutrients that children need to stay healthy, play hard and grow well.
How Do Individual Snacks Rate?
★★★ EXCELLENT ★★ MODEST ★ POOR
|Snack||Sport Support||Overall Nutrition||Dental Health||Healthy Environment|
|Oranges, watermelon, etc.||★★★||★★★||★★||★★★|
|Raisins, dried fruit||★★★||★★★||★||★★★|
|Fruit juice (tetra packs or |
|Commercial sport drink||★★★||★||★||★|
|Peanuts, sunflower seeds etc., in shell||★★||★★★||★★★||★★★|
|Home-made whole |