When it’s your turn to treat the team, don’t get caught without a nutritious option. Christine Sorg, RD, CD, Parkview Sports Medicine, shares her suggestions for snacks that pack the most benefit for young athletes as well as smart pre-game planning.
For active children, I recommend around 30 grams of carbohydrates 1 hour before a game to aid in optimal performance. Then it’s important they consume carbohydrates with protein within 30-60 minutes after exercise. Getting protein with carbohydrates together helps increase glycogen stores that are lost during exercise and aids in muscle synthesis. If the athlete is unable to have a meal within an hour after a game or practice, packing a snack is very beneficial. If the athlete has a meal planned within 30-60 minutes, water is adequate. Include carbohydrate-rich whole grains and lean protein with post exercise/game meals.
6 Simple Post Game Snacks
1. Low-fat chocolate milk and pretzels
2. Peanut butter or sun butter and jelly on whole wheat bread
3. Greek or regular yogurt and granola with fresh or dried fruit
4. Crackers and cheese
5. Beef jerky and fruit
6. No Bake Energy Bites (recipe below) and an apple
No Bake Energy Bites
1 cup (dry) oatmeal (we used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like (we did approximately 1-inch balls).
3. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.
Adapted from a recipe featured on Gimme Some Oven