For every child, staying active is crucial for a healthy mind and life. Sports and activities allow children to release all of their built up energy. But, where does all of that energy come from? The main source of their energy is food. Kids tend to require multiple meals and snacks to help further their growth and development. But as we all know, kids are kids. And they tend to be extra picky about what they want to eat. While their taste buds are saying sweets, their bodies are saying nutrients! But what if we could combine them both? Let us dive into how we can take the three most important nutrients and combine them with your child’s picky diet.
In order for any child to be healthy and active, there are three very important nutrients that should be included in every diet. They are vitamins (including calcium and iron), protein and carbohydrates. There are many different ways to combine all three. Let us start with some that are particularly good for before any aerobic activity.
Something that has plenty of carbohydrates is the way to go right before practice. Kids need that energy to burn off while they are actively moving around.
Before any activity:
- Apple and Almond Butter (can substitute with sunflower seed butter if your child is allergic to any type of nuts)
- Banana and Peanut Butter
- Oatmeal and Fruit
- Yogurt and Trail Mix (plain Greek yogurt has numerous health benefits, especially when combined with trail mix)
When it comes to after activities, this is the time to let your child have something that is a bit sweet (can act as a small reward post their activity) but also helping build their muscles.
- Applesauce (can also make it homemade with the kids to get them excited)
- Pita crackers with hummus (make your own pita! Squirt the pita bread with margarine spray; add a bit of garlic powder and salt; toast and cut it into multiple squares)
- Cheese cubes with crackers
- Dark chocolate frozen banana bites (dip the bananas into melted dark chocolate and rest on a baking sheet; you can add a bit of sea salt for a salty/sweet flavor; freeze for about an hour)
Every combination listed above can be altered to fit your child’s needs and wants. The great thing about these ideas is that they are all interchangeable. Not only within each other but with numerous other things. Being open to new ideas is the key to providing your child with their needed nutrients while satisfying their tummies.