A child who plays sports often has a high energy expenditure, and therefore must also have a sufficient intake of the necessary nutrients. What should not be missing from his diet?
Small athletes must be provided with sufficient protein intake . This is especially true for teenagers, as they are in a period of physical development. Quality sources of animal proteins include poultry, beef, eggs and dairy products (hard cheeses, yogurts, cottage cheese, sour milk products). In addition to animal sources, treat your champion to plant proteins, such as quinoa, legumes and nuts. A very good source of protein is, among other things, meat broth, which is also easily digestible, so it does not burden the digestive tract even before sports performance. Lack of protein in the diet can reduce the defense capacity of the child’s organism or slow down regeneration after sports performance, but also negatively affect growth and development. The recommended amount ranges from 1.2 to 1.5 g per 1 kg of body weight .
Healthy fats have their place in a balanced diet not only because of fat-soluble vitamins. They are necessary for proper brain development and immunity. Avocados, nuts, seeds, cold-pressed vegetable oils are great sources of vegetable fats, which should prevail in the diet. They can also be supplemented with animal fats – butter, fish .
They are the primary source of energy, and therefore should make up at least 50%, but also 60% of the total energy intake , but not more. The source of carbohydrates should not be refined sugars and white flour products, leavened pastries or sweets. Give preference to cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables and fruits . Vegetables should also be heat-treated – they are easier to digest. It is advisable to consume it raw together with high-quality oils, ideally cold-pressed (e.g. olive, pumpkin).
As for micronutrients , it is desirable to monitor the sufficient intake of calcium , which is necessary for the proper development of bones and teeth, magnesium and iron (especially for girls and vegetarians). Their lack can be the cause of deterioration in sports performance. Regular consumption of dairy products, meat, legumes and nuts should definitely not be neglected.
What a daily menu might look like
Your little champion can start the day with a hearty breakfast in the form of oatmeal or other cereal porridge with fruit and cottage cheese. Pack a yogurt or acid drink with fruit and a handful of nuts (unsalted, roasted) for a snack at school. Lunch during the week is probably not in your control, but classic “school” dishes such as meat and rice, pasta and the like are fine. Alternatively, you can pack some supplement in the form of a salad for the child’s lunch.
Olovrant is usually a post-workout meal, so it should not be neglected. Bread with cheese and vegetables or homemade hummus with avocado and vegetables should keep the little athlete full until dinner. It is ideal if you can provide your child with a warm dinner. It can be, for example, baked fish with roasted vegetables or lentil stew with ox eye. If he has had an active day, feel free to treat him to a second dinner, such as cottage cheese with vegetables.
Drinking regime is also an important part of the healthy diet of young athletes. Fluid intake should be regular, pure water, herbal and fruit teas, diluted fruit and vegetable juices are ideal. Minimize sugary drinks and different colored sodas. Ionic and other sports drinks are not recommended for children to drink.