How to Feed an Athlete

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One of my missions is to change the Snack Culture on the Game Side Lines.

I recently gave a talk on this topic to the coaches volunteering for the sports program at out local YMCA - Harris YMCA in Charlotte, NC.  Change happens with one coach, one family, one team.  If I can change the mind of ONE, the ripple effect will change the minds of MANY.

BACKGROUND: As many of you know, the athletic body is created with 70% Nutrition and 30% Fitness.  It takes more then exercise to create a strong and fast athlete.  Somewhere along the way, many of us overlooked this principle and we started rewarding kids with junk food for being active and playing sports.  Now it has become the Norm.  It's time for change!

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MC2Charlotte Tips on How to Feed An Athlete.

Common snacks on the sports field after games are the following:Doughnuts, Doritos, Chips, Cheetos, Gold Fish, Gatorade, Juice, Roaring Waters

An average 8yr old burns 150 cals in a game. An average post game snack is 300-500 cals.

An athlete requires water, electrolytes, protein, healthy fats, natural sugars, and anti-oxidants. The average snack seen on the sidelines is laden with food coloring, various man made sugars, unknown ingredients, processed fats, and more sugar.

When was the last time you ate a bag of Cheetos after you finished your jog, or Doritos after you killed it at Orange Theory, or Doughnuts after rocking yoga, or Chips after a smooth swim? Why are we treating our children’s body differently?

RETHINK THE POST GAME SNACK - apple slices, bananas, frozen grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cheese sticks, orange slices, home made PB crackers. I know you think they won’t eat it. I beg to differ!!! Call anything a snack and the kids will devour it.  I also know that a lot of parents are afraid to bring these snacks because they will be made fun of by other parents 🤔 or that they won't be the Fun Parent 😳 Athlete bodies crave good food! Let’s Stop teaching them to crave junk.

DO KIDS REALLY NEED A POST GAME SNACK?  For athletic events lasting 45 min to 1hr, do the kids really need a post game snack?  For example,

Electrolytes and Sports Drinks

But what about all the electrolytes in Sports drinks that athletes need for better performance? Observe.......

drink-table
drink-table

Price comparison of Junk vs. Healthy Snacks

Junk

  • Capri Sun Drinks $2.70 per 10 drinks
  • Doritos $5.20 per 12 packets
  • $2.70 + $5.20 = $9.90 to feed 9-10 kids

Healthy Snacks

  • Grapes $2.99 or $3.00 per lb
  • to create the right serving size per child it will be 3 lbs of grapes for 9-10 kids.
  • water is free
  • 3 x $3.00 = $9.00 to feed 9-10 kids
  • Orange = $0.89 per one
  • Each kid eats about 4-5 slices (about 1/2 orange)
  • Water is Free
  • 5 x $0.89 = $4.45 to feed 9-10 kids
  • Apples 3lb bag (about 6-8apples) = $4.49
  • 1/2 an apple cut into slices feeds 1 athlete
  • Water is free
  • $4.49 to feed 9-10 athletes
  • Bananas 1lb (about 4) = $1.99
  • 3lbs needed to feed 9-10 athletes
  • Water is free
  • 3 x $1.99 = $5.97 to feed 9-10 athletes

Let me know if you would like a PDF or Word copy of this Bolg as a handout for your team and I will email it to you.

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Let's be the voice of Change, Ana-Maria Temple, MD