As school starts this month, so do SPORTS! YAY! As a mom of a soccer stud, I know that this time of the year can be super hectic. Practice, games, practice, practice, games. On top of school, homework, chores, and just being a kid. BUT, even through the hectic times of the year, our kiddo’s health + nutrition should be still top priority.
So, while running through a fast food joint 3x a week is super tempting for those busy days, you MUST stay prepared. You know this is a hard season coming up, so it’s important to create a plan on how you are going to achieve healthy meals. Right now, I want to get into how to properly nourish your kiddos before, during, + after a practice or a game!
Before a practice or a game, our kiddos really need to be fueled up to have energy, be aggressive (in a good way!), and can perform at their best! With meals before a practice or game, I love it to be balanced and eaten 1-2 hours beforehand. They shouldn’t be eating 20 minutes before practice or a game. That can give them a stomach ache + make them sluggish.
- You want to make sure that the meal has good fats, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butter, avocado, olive oil.
- Protein should be in every meal and you can use chicken, grass-fed beef, turkey, eggs, wild caught fish, etc. Inside these protein sources are branched chain amino acids, which can help reduce fatigue and help recover faster.
- With a meal beforehand, low glycemic carbs come in handy to give them a slow release of energy throughout their exercise. Use sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, carrots, fruit, quinoa, etc.
We also love to give our son some VegaSport pre-workout mix to add extra energy + nutrition. I love that this pre-workout doesn’t use artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. It includes energy boosting ingredients, such as Yerba mate, green tea, and rhodiola. AND nourishing ingredients, such as turmeric, ginger, ginseng, and coconut oil. This keeps him energized throughout practice/game.
During a practice/game, you want to give your kiddos something that is hydrating + nourishing. Water is usually fine for a short practice and/or cooler temperatures (sweating isn’t as bad, unlike in heat). But if your kiddo is playing for a while and/or in hot temperatures, they need a little something extra in their water to help with energy + replacing electrolytes.
Coconut water is the BEST choice. It naturally has electrolytes, super hydrating, and nourishing! I love to spice it up with a little bit of fresh fruit pieces or fresh juice squeezed from lemons, oranges, pineapple, etc. (Squeeze it yourself, don’t purchase juice from stores!)
You can even just use plain water, fruits, and a little bit of sea salt for electrolytes too. Most sports drinks you’ll find in stores are unfortunately filled with tons of artificial flavors, colors, and LOADED with sugar. If kids are getting proper nutrition beforehand, you shouldn’t be “needing” to depending on sugar loaded junky sports drinks.
Just like before a practice/game, feed them a wholesome balanced meal afterwards. Use whole food sources of carbohydrates or some gluten free grains (rice, quinoa, oats, etc), tons of veggies, a good quality protein source, and good quality fat.
If you want to add a protein smoothie right after a practice/game, you can do that too! We love to use coconut or almond milk for a base, banana or dates or other fruits for carbohydrates (replenishing their glycogen stores), collagen or whey protein (for muscle recovery), and greens (for extra nutrition). Feel free to check out our smoothie recipes!
Overall, this is what we should always be aiming for our kid’s nutrition. Just real wholesome foods. Once you feed your family that on a regular basis, all you really have to think about it is if you want that extra fuel from a pre-workout drink beforehand + if you want to give them a protein shake afterwards.
If you are in charge of bringing snacks to your kid’s practices/games too, always aim for fresh fruit (which will help replenish those glycogen stores) or healthy nut/granola bars. Minimize getting chips, cookies, Goldfish, fruit snacks, and other junk-y foods.
If you need some extra help transitioning + feeding your family healthy foods + steering away from the junk, I can always work 1:1 with you to make this happen. Use code SPORTSMOM to get 50% off your initial consultation! We are in charge of a healthy future generation + athletes. It starts in the home!