Fueling A Young Athlete

I was asked to speak to a local group of 3rd-grade girl runners and here is a list of a few items we discussed. If you have a little athlete at home, consider applying these tips to their life and if you need a dietitian speaker, reach out!

  1. Create time and space for your movement, recovery and meals.
    • Set aside time at night before bed to pack your lunch and afternoon snack
    • Plan out when you want to practice running or pair up for a jog with a friend each week
    • Turn your screens and electronics off every night by 6pm
  1. Eat color, prioritizing 3 cups of vegetables a day, protein at each meal and choosing 3 meals verse having multiple snacks all day. Meals are better for you body, sleep, concentration and athletics.
    • Make vegetables fun and easy to consume. Have you ever made a smoothie with berries, avocado and kale?
    • Have proteins made ahead. I bet your parents would be happy to help too. How about a chicken salad, pre-portioned nuts, pre-made burgers, whole-fat organic dairy?
    • Make sure you snack is a combo of fiber and fat.
  1. Eat real food more often than not, choosing things that don’t come packaged.
  2. Listen to how your body feels. Sometimes we don’t tolerate all the foods we are offered. Pay attention to what you body digests well.
  3. Invest interest in cooking and play with flavors and learn new ways to enjoy things.

Food Ideas:

Breakfast

Smoothie

1/2 avocado (Costco sells these frozen, which making life easier), 1/2 banana, 1/3 cup of berries, ice, pinch of sea salt, coconut milk and a good protein powder like vanilla pea protein or collagen peptides.

Egg cupcakes

Chop various vegetables you like and mix with 12 eggs. Portion into cupcake trays and cook on 325F until cooked all the way through ~20 minutes.

Grain-less Granola + yogurt

The grain-less will help stabilize energy levels and prevent blood sugar spikes first thing in the morning.

Lunch

Organic chicken drumsticks with hummus, cucumbers/tomatoes and rice

Homemade chipotle bowl

Soup (here are my go-to tips on picking a quality soup)

Snacks

  • Celery + peanut butter and raisins
  • String cheese + cheery tomatoes (1 cup)
  • Pear + 1/4 cup pecans
  • Orange + 30 pistachos
  • Green apple + 15 almonds
  • 1/2 cup cucumber + hard-boiled egg
  • Banana + pumpkin seeds