In a perfect world we would have garden fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain breads available at every meal. In reality, especially during tournaments, many of your players will find their sustenance off an exit ramp in-between games. When the fast food option is your player's only option there are several ways to guarantee a quick meal without 10,000 calories.
Nutrition Guidelines for youth and adolescent children: The Basics
- A child must have a diet with a sufficient amount of calories to handle rigorous physical activity (An active 8 year old needs about 2000 calories a day while an active 14 year old needs around 3200).
- While there must be a high enough level of caloric intake, these calories must be low in saturated fat, and cholesterol (healthy hearts all around).
- A growing child?s diet must also provide a moderate amount of protein as well as other valuable nutrients such as sodium, salts, protein, and yes sugar (in moderation).
- Finally daily food consumption must have a relatively high amount of nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates for continually fueling the active youth (whole grains such as wheat bread and muffins are great).
Healthy Food on the Road
Breakfast For breakfast, stick with the starches and helpings of fruits and protein. Bagels, Cereals, Bananas, and eggs are always safe bets. Try to avoid the sausage, bacon, pastries and hash browns if possible.
Lunch You're always safe with grilled foods. Chicken and Fish are lean options which are easily accessible on the road as are turkey and ham. Remember your fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water and sports drinks especially during tournaments. Stay away from all deep fried foods, and caffeine.
Dinner Pasta is a traditional favorite as it provides the necessary carbohydrates for the next day. Stick with the lean meats as well with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Stay away from heavy sauces such as Alfredo or Hollandaise sauce if possible.
While your control of your club member's diets is limited, it is always a good idea to promote healthy eating within your organization. You will be assisting the healthy growth of your young players, while helping to insure your players are able to compete at their highest possible level. Good luck and bon apatite.