There are two factors at play when it comes to feeding active children. You’re fueling the standard growth and development of a young person, while also meeting the nutritional demands1 of their involvement in sport.
What should your active kids be eating?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends intake of a wide range of nutritious foods from these food groups:
- vegetables, beans / legumes
- dairy products including milk, yoghurt and cheese
- lean meats and poultry, fish, tofu, nuts and seeds
- wholegrain and high fibre cereals and bread, rice, pasta and barley.
Is it a sports day?
If your child is heading into a particularly active day, give them some extra food to fuel their increased activity. Preparation can begin the night before with a high carbohydrate dinner, like spaghetti bolognaise or a chicken stir-fry. And it doesn’t hurt to have a dairy-based dessert like fruit and yoghurt afterwards.
The morning of the activity, it’s essential that your child eats breakfast. If they don’t have long, try something nutritious but light, like a banana sandwich or cereal. If they have more than an hour, go for something with carbs and protein, like toast and eggs or baked beans.
1 Sports Dietitians Australia, Children & Adolescents. https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/children/nutrition-for-the-adolescent-athlete/