If you’ve been part of our community for a while, then you know how important we take our nutrition and health. And as a mama of a little athlete, it’s especially important to us how we fuel and hydrate Callie before her horse back riding lessons, archery practice, or her long runs at the gym. We want to set her up for success and build life long foundational habits to help her through out her life.
Here’s what we’re doing currently to keep her fueled up, hydrated and ready for everything from practice to competition days:
Hydration for Kids
I know that most marketing companies will have you believe that kids need sugary sports drinks like Gatorade to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat from exercise, but the truth is those are better suited for professional athletes. We prefer to stick to basic water for Callie and pair it with a flavored electrolyte packet like LMVT or Liquid IV. This way she can avoid the added surplus of sugar those sports drinks have and we can ensure she stays hydrated in the Texas sun. We invested in several nice water bottles so we can avoid exposure to BPAs and also do our part to minimize our impact on the environment.
Kids Nutrition for Practice, Gym Days, and Competition Days
We believe food is fuel and we focus every day on trying to provide a balanced diet for our family of whole non-processed organic foods.
For archery practice and her horse back riding lessons, here are some of the snacks we love giving Callie:
- Almond butter and pretzels
- String cheese and an orange
- Chomps meat stick and an apple
- Hard boiled eggs and apple oatmeal muffin
We tend to stay away from high-fat foods as they tend to take a longer time to process and break down resulting in Callie feeling slightly sluggish. We also avoid highly processed sugary items–although the sugar does produce a rapid burst of energy, the resulting crash is hard to manage when she’s doing a long practice.
For Gym Days, a healthy breakfast is a must because our favorite time to go workout is mid-morning. Some of our favorite fuel filled breakfast ideas are:
- Protein pancakes
- Scrambled eggs with cottage cheese
- Kodiak protein muffins
- Fruit Smoothies with Whey protein powder, chia seeds, fresh fruit, and flax seed
- Egg muffins
We also make sure that Callie intakes protein after she works out at the gym. This can be something as easy as a scoop of whey protein mixed with milk (she says it tastes like a milkshake!) or a protein bar–we love ONE and Quest bars.
Any sports parent can attest, competition days are LONG. I’m the type of parent who packs a backpack full of food, brings our own cooler, and is totally the quintessential “snack mom.”
Breakfast is pivotal for competition days so we make sure we start the day out on the right foot. Hydration is also super important as dehydration can easily impact her performance.
An hour before her competition starts, we give her a snack with a simple carbohydrate in it. I don’t do any food later than that as I don’t want to run the risk of her having an upset stomach. Trust me, you don’t want to be the parent of a kiddo with a full belly running around in the heat who suddenly leans over and barfs on the side of the soccer field. It’s not pretty.
Post competition, Callie is usually STARVING. We focus on giving her carbohydrates (replenish energy) and a protein source (aids in muscle recovery).
Here’s what we pack in our backpack and cooler:
- Cut up fruit
- Protein Bites
- Chocolate milk
- String Cheese
- Beef Jerky
- Electrolyte packets
- Chomps protein stick
- Hard boiled eggs
- Peanut butter crackers
Healthy eating is a way of life for us. It’s important to establish routines early with your kids that are simple, realistic, and ultimately, livable. I hope some of these healthy hacks helps you fuel your little athlete for success! Share your success stories with the community in the comments below!