Sports Nutrition for Kids: What Parents Should Know

Only recently, research funded by the makers of Butterfingers revealed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less. This is contrary to what many people expect. Ordinarily, children who eat candy, and by extension - junk foods, are thought to be unhealthy and fat in a stereotypical way. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the research made parents astounded while their candy-loving children were elated.

However, the research brought to light the subject of nutrition, attitudes, and healthy living. Who is responsible for the nutritional health of kids? Considering that most children are active in sports, parents should understand their nutritional requirements and how they can provide a diet that is not only balanced but also healthy for the kids.

The primary duty of a parent or a coach is to keep children healthy, hydrated, safe and strong. Youngsters often find it fun to play games such as soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, volleyball, and fun-runs among other types of playing These are just but a few of the activities that keep the kids active for most of the day. Did you know that nutrition is at the center of all these activities? Well, regardless of whether the youngsters spend the entire day training for the tournament or just playing for fun, its importance cannot be understated.

Muscle mass and hormonal changes

Now more than ever, parents and coaches need to understand that children’s nutritional needs are different from that of adults. Children are experiencing hormonal changes. It is a pivotal stage for growth and their muscle mass is growing. The general rule of the thumb has always been that since your child is growing and developing into a young adult, they should not be losing weight. Of course, parents are supposed to use their discretion and know when the child is overweight or tending to obese. However, within the acceptable weight range, children should not be losing weight. In any case, they should be maintaining their weight especially if they are involved in a training program.

Junk food and fast food

Even with the research findings mentioned earlier, every parent needs to be conscious and wary of junk and fast foods. If you feel that your children need to add some weight, turn to high-calorie food items such as cheese, nut butter, yogurt, milk, and avocados. All you need to do is add a little of these elements into your child’s diet, and you will be helping them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Sports nutrition for kids is not complete without proper hydration. Encourage the youngsters to drink enough water. Where necessary, be sure to add snacks in between meals to boost the calorie levels.