Children are constantly on the go, participating in school activities, extracurricular activities and sports. With so much time spent away from home, the busy child needs proper nutrition to keep energy levels high. As a parent, you can be prepared for these instances with pre-prepared snacks to keep your child fueled for those hectic days.
Carbohydrates give your child the fuel necessary to perform physical activities. Two to four hours before game time, give your child with a healthy, high-carbohydrate meal of snack. Pasta and whole grains provide hours of energy. Many children may ask for sugary snacks between games, but be prepared with healthy, tasty alternatives to sway your child to consume a healthier snack. Keep granola bars, dry cereal and fruit on hand to keep your child satisfied while in the game.
Protein helps to keep your kids full and allows healthy development of muscle tissue 1. Choosing the right types of proteins that are low in saturated fats is essential to keeping your child healthy. Proteins low in saturated fat include chicken, fish, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy products. Because children require three to four servings of dairy a day, this is a good opportunity to include a dairy snack while providing essential protein. Low-fat yogurt, milk and cheese are excellent sources of protein that also promote bone health. For finicky eaters, sprinkle granola or fresh berries into yogurt or provide low-fat chocolate milk for a tasty, healthy between-game snack. Peanut butter also provides essential protein. Prepare a peanut butter sandwich and serve with milk for a nutrient-packed meal between games.
Dehydration is a dangerous result of intense physical activity. Although sports drinks may sound tempting to your child, many sports drinks contain too much sugar and may even contain dangerous supplements. Keep plenty of cold water on hand and continuously hydrate your child before, during and after a sports game. Avoid sugary sodas that could also be packed with caffeine.
As the parent of a busy child, you must stay prepared for hectic schedules. Prepare meals ahead of time that are easy to heat and eat to keep you and your child ahead of schedule. Stews, chili and pasta with lean meats can provide your child with essential nutrients, can be prepared ahead of time and can be served quickly through reheating before heading to the next sporting event. Keep your refrigerator and cupboards stocked with fast, easy snacks that can be quickly grabbed when in a hurry. Buy a portable cooler that is large enough to keep essential snacks and cold drinks for your child.
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