Just like that,the first week of school is complete! Can you believe it? An exciting new school year is underway. Here at Lemond Nutrition we are wrapping up Kids Eat Right Month, but the focus on keeping our kiddos adequately nourished for the year seems more important than ever!
The start of school is a sign that fall is right around the corner and “fall sports/activities” are in full swing, especially for our older kids. Whether its football, volleyball, cross-country, cheerleading, etc. it is time to FUEL UP FOR FALL!
Our student-athletes need appropriate fuel (calories) to sustain their normal growth as well as their rigorous practices and competitions. As a parent or a coach, it is important to teach our athletes to monitor their bodies and intake to make sure they are operating at their peak potential. Let’s take a deeper look:
1. Adequate Hydration
If you have watched the news (especially in Texas) you know there is a big focus and concern on adequate hydration while kids are participating in hot outdoor activities. Rightly so! Kids and teens are at increased risk for overheating and dehydration. Encourage kids or athletes to carry a water bottle with them between classes and activities, and have them look for signs they may be dehydrated. Water, milk and sports drinks all count towards fluid intake! (See more about hydration here)
Signs of Dehydration
- Dark urine (lemonade or darker)
- Decreased urine output
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
How much fluid do student-athletes need?
- High school aged boys need at least 3.3 liters per day (approximately 14 cups).
- High school aged females need at least 2.7 liters per day (approximately 11 cups).
*Includes all water from beverages and foods.
Carbohydrates breakdown in the athlete’s body (glucose) to give quick, efficient energy. Any glucose that isn’t used is stored as glycogen which is needed for their endurance. Replenishing these stores frequently is important. Most carbohydrate choices are easy to pack in school lunches, send as a snack, or include on the dinner plate.
- Oranges, grapes, bananas, and other fruits
- Breads (toast, sandwiches, English muffins, bagels, etc.) Choose whole grain options when possible!
- Yogurt, Milk
Often in the sports world, protein is associated with supplements. While there is a place for supplements in the world, when we are talking about our teenage male and female athletes, these protein needs can be met with regular foods. No supplements needed!
Protein is essential for building and maintaining strong muscles as well as repairing muscles and tissues after use. Include protein options in meals and snacks to maintain adequate intake. Keep in mind that excess protein can contribute to dehydration!
- Meats (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, pork, turkey, etc.)
- Peanut butter (other nut butters), nuts
- Milk, cottage cheese, yogurt (Greek), etc.
Low-fat milk (even chocolate milk) is an excellent post practice snack. A peanut butter sandwich or hardboiled eggs also serve as quick, easy ways to refuel your athlete! Don’t forget the fluids.
As a new school year and sport season begins, stay on the forefront of your athlete's health. Afterall, as parents, we are their #1 fans! Keep meals balanced with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole-grains, dairy and lean meats. Keep healthful snacks ready for quick options on the go. Good luck to all of our athletes this year.
Thank you for celebrating Kids Eat Right Month with us here at Lemond Nutrition. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Growing healthy kids and strong adults is what we love most!