Healthy Meals for Young Athletes

Healthy Meals for Young Athletes
Skip the fried corn dog and opt for these healthier meal options.

Last week on our blog, we talked about some smart snacks to get your kids (and you) through some longer travel tournaments. As the season kicks into gear, tournaments will get longer (or at least they’ll feel longer) and you’ll need some meals on those trips too. We’re back this week with some tips for healthy meals to pack for those long tournament days.

Healthy Meals for Young Athletes

A lot of the same principles apply with meals as they do with snacks. It’s important to focus on protein for long term energy, carbs for short-term energy, and avoid anything too heavy or greasy. That means staying out of the fast food line. Here are a few ideas:

The Classics:

For those of you novices out there when it comes to packing healthy meals for young athletes, it’s totally fine to start simple. Sandwiches of any kind are a great foundation to a healthy meal, whether that’s peanut butter and jelly, deli meats and cheeses, or even tuna fish. You can make it a wrap instead of a sandwich to eliminate some carbs, and you can cut up some fruit to go alongside it, because, y’know, fruit.

The High-Protein:

For lunch ahead of a long afternoon and evening of games, try packing the protein to keep your all-stars fuller longer. Cooking up some chicken breasts the night before, along with steaming some vegetables and brown rice, makes for an awesomely well-rounded and healthy meal. You can also toss some of that chicken into the wraps we mentioned above. For a last minute desperation meal, many grocery stores sell whole rotisserie chickens, hot and ready to go, for not much more than $5 — and there’s plenty of food there for the whole family or a few teammates.

The Vegetarian:

We know not everyone is a big carnivore, but there are definitely ways to stock up on nutrients without meat. A pre-mixed salad (either from the bags at the grocery store or mixed yourself at home) gives your kids tons of veggies for the day, and toss in some nuts, cheese, beans, or tofu for that kick of protein.

 

There are tons more options for healthy meals for young athletes, it just takes a little creativity and a little planning ahead. Hopefully we’ve helped steer you in the right direction.

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