Friday, March 08, 2013

Nutrition for Youth Sports

We speak in our communications to youth teams about doing a daily day food log, to begin the process of seeing what kids are eating and how foods can affect performance and ability. What we are finding is the kids currently make poor choices in foods on a daily basis. This is not particularly their fault, but more so of a lack of information available for kids and parents.

Schools, restaurants, grocery markets, and fast food chains are all providing improper food choices for kids.  High fat, high sodium and high calorie food options, which are full of preservatives and fillers, are what children are choosing.  This is not acceptable. And we as adults are not making the proper food choices, but that's a whole story in itself. I'd like to stick to the kids but exemplify how the parent’s role can influence this process.

Our approach with nutrition is to get in the process of seeing what kids are eating on a regular basis. From here we can provide feedback after reading the logs. We provide feedback to the team based on what we find as a whole; similar patterns of eating and food selection. Then we begin doing a 7 day food log where we can look directly at what foods they are eating and give each individual specific feedback on their logs.

We also ask that parents to do not do this assignment for their kids. Instead we ask them to work with their kids and to do the logs for themselves alongside their kids. This way, we can start the process with the parents and make it a family incentive to eat better; Clean and healthy.

Try it for yourself. Do a food log and write out what you eat in one day. Put it on your iphone, notebook, or daytimer.  Review it yourself, and share with your kids and you’re whole family. If there are questions on what types of foods to eat please utilize the guidelines set forth by the 60 Minute Kids Club.

The 60 Minute Kids Club program follows the 5-2-1-0 message, which stands for;
· 5 or more fruits or vegetables
· 2 hours or less of screen time per day
· 1 hours or more of activity per day
· 0 sugary drinks or food 

In addition to the above 4 healthy lifestyle behaviors we also include the recommendation of 8-10 hours of sleep.  

The recommendation for each meal should follow the simple outline on our website which is 3 healthy meals and up to 3 healthy snacks every day. Ideally the goal is to eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day as part of these 3-6 healthy meals and snacks, while avoiding processed foods and sugar. Our Kids Video is a great overview to explain some specific foods for families and kids to look for! Click here to watch: KidsPresentation

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