Sport nutrition for kids

Hockey tournaments have started for our house which means full weekends at the rink and hungry boys! Today I made chocolate zucchini cake and bearclaw cookies to have in addition to our energy balls for snacks during these hectic times. Here are a few guidelines for making sure your little athletes are nourished properly.

  1. Hydration: This includes drinking before, during and after an activity. Water is the appropriate drink for activities that are an hour or less.
    • 2-3 hours before an activity, have your child drink 400-600 mL water
    • During the event, your child should drink 150-300 mL every 15-20 minutes
    • After the activity, your child needs to rehydrate. They can do this by drinking approximately 4 mL/kg body weight.
  2. Food:  Never try a new food right before an activity!
    • Before an activity, have your child eat a meal at least 3 hours before so they can properly digest it. This meal should include carbohydrate, protein and fat.
    • They can have a snack 1 hour before that is high in carbohydrate and moderate protein. Try to avoid items that are high in fat or fibre 1 hour before the game to avoid stomach upset.
    • If it is an early morning practice (like our 6:00 am today!), provide a snack before and have a meal after.
    • During an activity they do not need food if it’s less than 1 hour.
    • After an activity, if there is less than 24 hours before the next activity, provide something with carbohydrate and protein within 30 minutes for proper muscle repair. If there is more than 24 hours until the next activity your child can wait until their next meal or snack to refuel. This meal should include a balanced meal with carbohydrate and protein.
    • Examples of post meal snacks:
      • Yogurt and berries
      • Bearclaw cookie with peanut butter
      • Chocolate Zucchini Cake with a glass of milk

I will post the recipes for the above bearclaw cookies and zucchini cake in my next posts. They are a great addition to the snack bag that I carry around!

Happy hockey tournament season…maybe I’ll see you at the rink 🙂

For more comprehensive reading on this subject you can see the Canadian Pediatric Society’s practice point on the subject from 2013 here: https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/sport-nutrition-for-young-athletes

 

 

 

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