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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

8 Easy Nutrition Tips for Parents of Young Athletes

The basis inspiration of most of my blog posts come from the people in my life. To be more specific, the parents of the athletes. Don’t get me wrong, I can honestly say that I have a great relationship with them all, but find it funny that when it is time for me to confront them about certain things in their child’s life, they want to push the blame on someone else.

As parents, it is your job to prepare your children for the real world. One day they will have to face all of life's tasks on their own. They learn to grow and prosper from people and things that are surrounded by them. An important factor that is overlooked and not taken so seriously, especially for athletes, is proper diet and nutrition. 

We need to set a good example and do our best not to stray off that path and keep them focused. Most will probably consider these 8 tips common sense, but if you ask any of your athletes about these topics, you might become a little concerned when you hear some of their responses.

1. BREAKFAST
  Before we start talking about breakfast, A good breakfast is not bacon, egg, cheese, and home fries on a bagel aka a “BOBO”.  It is also not cereal, donuts, or muffins. THIS IS ALL CRAP. A good breakfast includes choices such as: eggs, lean meat, oatmeal, milk, etc.

2. WATER  
Drink more water! Stay off the sugary drinks like Gatorade and soda.

3. NO DRIVE THRU’S:  
If the place has a drive thru, it is not for you. ENOUGH SAID.

4. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
We all know that most young athletes are especially picky when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables. The more green on their plate, the better. The biggest part of your plate should be your vegetables. Try introducing new fruits and vegetables into the diet for the variety. You may be surprised to see what you like and will notice a change in your body and training when you clean up your diet.

5. LIMIT TAKE OUT
Limit the number of times that you get take-out. Even if you order something healthy, such as grilled chicken, you cannot control how things are prepared and cooked. Make your meals at home and control the amount of calories that you take in.

6. PORTION CONTROL
If your child is eating until he is completely full, you are creating bad habits of overeating. Gluttony has become a problem in today's society. This is something that they will take on for the rest of their lives and will most likely pass this habit onto their children. The stomach is a muscle. The more you overfill it, the more it will stretch and the bigger it becomes. Learn to listen to your body when it tells you it has had enough. Grab a glass of water before your meal and after. Wait 15 minutes, and if you are still hungry, then add a little extra food to your plate.

7. MULTIVITAMIN
I don’t know one person in this world that eats 100% perfect all the time and most likely neither do you.  If you are not eating 100% perfect, than you are in a nutrient deficit and need a multivitamin.

8. POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY
After you are done training, it is vital to replace all of the nutrients that you lost during the workout and consume protein to help rebuild and repair muscle. This will improve the quality and rate of recovery, and help build a stronger, leaner athlete.

As important as these 8 tips are, try to implement them into your daily diet and regime. Start off slow to make the necessary adjustments and take it from there. Our athletes need a good stepping stone and a strong support system to help guide and teach them the importance of proper nutrition. 

Not only will your athletes thank you and learn to appreciate the importance of proper training and nutrition, but the future generations will be able to benefit from it as well.

Improving the athlete inside and out,
 One athlete at a time.

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