Best Diet: What a child eats is vital for their growth but also their sports performance. The doctor in food and nutrition, Laura Arranz, explains the keys to infant and youth feeding for small athletes.
The benefits of sport are innumerable for the smallest in the house. Children who play games after school and competition are acquiring healthy habits that will serve them for life.
The sport also educates them on values and in social competences and emotions that will be learning for their personal development.
Diet influences children’s sports performance.
One of the most ordinary parents’ concerns is the diet that your sports sons and daughters must follow. Above all, on those matches, tournament or championship days.
1. Food and Sports
A poorly oriented diet can provoke a decrease in performance or gastrointestinal discomfort due to planning or food type errors.
To explain a little more about how this diet should be, the expert and doctor of nutrition and nutrition, Laura Arranz, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Sciences and Gastronomy at the University of Barcelona, has published the book ‘Eat well, play better ‘(Amat Editorial).
This book is an implement and resource for parents of young and young athletes with a comprehensive guide on which foods are the most appropriate and which should be avoided and a wide variety of recipes and the correct way to plan daily menus and those of days of maximum performance.
In a balanced diet, no food group should be missing.
“The most important thing in all children, whether or not they do sports outside of school and in competition, is that no food group is missing from their diet.
They must follow a healthy, varied, and balanced diet that includes all food groups. It is also essential to avoid refined sugars as much as possible.
2. What to Eat on Game Days
Children who frequently compete on weekends in tournaments and championships, the diet becomes somewhat more demanding.
Children have to make a significant physical effort to be at their peak in their games and regain the muscle tone, strength, and energy they have lost.
A proper diet helps the child to recover better after the competition.
Let’s see how food has to be or how diet can help.
- During the week, the diet must be varied and balanced. On match days or competitions, carbohydrates from healthy sources, especially rice and pasta, must prevail above all.
- Eliminate or try to avoid cereal sources that have added sugars.
3. A Good Breakfast
Breakfast is essential on game days and must be complete. It is also a guideline for the rest of the days of the year.
- A part of the fruit, whole or inside a toast. For example, a toast with slices of avocado, apple, banana, etc.
- A dairy. A glass of milk or much better, a yogurt.
- Nuts, seeds, and olive oil. For example, a toast or sandwich with tomato and olive oil.
4. What You Should Consider
- Bet on olive oil. You can put butter on toast from time to time, but olive oil is always better for its vitamin E and antioxidants.
- Avoid jam on toast as it has a high concentration of sugars.
- The fresh cheese is a good ration of milk you can put on a sandwich.
- Some ideas to put a sweet spot at breakfast can be a piece of chocolate (dark and more than 70% cocoa) or some chocolate shavings on toast, a little brown sugar or a teaspoon of honey.
A dairy, a piece of fruit and some cereal (bread) is the perfect breakfast.
In the dairy part, if the children have had a yogurt, they no longer need to have a glass of milk because it will be too heavy for breakfast, according to Dr. Arranz.
- You could drink a glass of some vegetable drinks such as almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, or oatmeal.
- You can also add small cocoa to this drink.
5. At the End of the Competition, You Must Eat
There are many mothers who, after the game, bring their children a smoothie, some cookies, or a snack. You really should avoid all pre-made products. The best thing in these cases, for just after the game, if you want to ‘snack’ on something, would be:
- The most central thing is to rehydrate the body with a drink with a little glucose and electrolytes. It can even be prepared at home
- Ideally, take a fruit that can be easily eaten. For example a banana or any fruit thatYou like, and that is in season.
- Offer a juice better than a smoothie and if it is natural much better.
- If you want to eat snacks, there are already healthier options on the market. A bag of nuts (natural and without salt), for example, is an excellent way to “snack.”
After a match or competition, what the body needs, explains the doctor, is to recover the glycogen in the muscle, which is the source of energy that will have been expended. So we have to give him a meal that includes:
- Carbohydrates. Pasta, rice, baked potato.
- Protein. Meat or fish accompanied by a little green salad or some vegetables.
- sometimes they may want a more “attractive” dessert, such as ice cream or custard. ” If food is generally cared for, there is nothing wrong with taking these kinds of desserts from time to time .”
For dinner, the protein part must predominate, although if they have trained in the afternoon, we must also give them carbohydrates to recover. It is essential that the dinner also includes some vegetables.
The fruit is essential every day, whether at breakfast, snack, or dessert, but it should be a necessary habit.