Nutrition for active kids
Nutrition for active kids
All children who are growing have special nutrient requirements that they need to maintain their health. However, kids who are more active may have higher needs, although those needs are not going to be much more than an extension of a healthy diet plan which all children should be following. Specific nutrition for active kids will include maintaining a healthy diet, while being sure to get enough nutrients to help their growing bodies.
Some guidelines for parents with active children to follow include:
•Start their day with a healthy breakfast. It is important for children to refuel their bodies after a full night’s sleep in order to increase their energy levels. The breakfast should ideally contain dairy, fruits, cereals and bread products to ensure a healthy start to their day.
•Snack often. Kids who are very active will need to maintain their energy levels by continually topping up their nutrients. They should be snacking in the morning and afternoon to keep their nutrient levels up between meals. Good snacks include yogurt, milk, fruit and breakfast cereals.
•Pay close attention and focus on lunch and dinner. Be sure these meals include protein for growth and carbohydrates for energy. Some good sources of protein include poultry, seafood, eggs, lean meat and dairy products. Carbohydrate rich foods include fruit, cereals, legumes, bread and starchy vegetables such as potatoes.
•Be sure that they are getting daily helpings of dairy products. Calcium is crucial to the formation of healthy bones in growing children. They should be encouraged to eat at least three servings of dairy each day to keep their bone mass healthy.
•Make sure they are drinking a lot. Children who are active will need to keep replenishing fluids. If the child is active in sports, sports drinks can be a good choice since they offer electrolytes to help replace fluids and are a good source of carbohydrates for energy.
•Always encourage healthy eating from all of the major food groups. A healthy diet is important for all children, but active children need to be monitored to be sure that they are taking the time to eat healthy, and refuel as needed. Be sure that the child is getting foods like breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk and other dairy products, as well as eating good servings of meat, poultry, fish and other sources of protein to ensure that they are having an adequate intake of all the necessary nutrients for healthy development.
As children grow, their diet needs will change. Be sure that all kids are eating healthy, and that they are taught the importance of a healthy diet. Nutrition for active kids is not difficult, as long as healthy eating habits are followed, and adequate nutrient levels are maintained to ensure that their growing bodies are getting all of the important elements they need each day.
Health and Wellbeing: Nutrition for Active Kids
Sprots Dietitians Australia: Fueling Active Kids
North Carolina State University: Be Active Kids
KidsHealth: Eating for sports
Nationwide Children’s: Nutrition for the Active Athlete in All of Us