Healthy diets for Active Sporty Kids

Kids need All 3 

Only one out of five kids has their recommended 3 servings of Protein every day!

Protein is the building blocks of life,  It helps regenerate at a cellular level and the question to ask yourselves is are your ids getting enough?

Protein is the perfect all round food for junior athletes or sports enthusiasts  who do a regular sport on a weekly basis.  Sport can include other sport which is not seen in the same way such as street or modern dance.

All kids need to eat a variety of healthy foods, and athletes are no different. Everybody needs foods that include: protein (found in white meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and dairy foods) carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the best sources).  Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the tissues at a cellular level and muscle recovery  and nervous system function correctly.

Of those 22 amino acids, our body can make 13 of them without you ever thinking about it. Your body can’t make the other nine amino acids, but you can get them by eating the protein-rich foods listed above. They are called essential amino acids because it’s essential The Essential Amino Acids to keep us and our loved ones happy, healthy and well !that you get them from the foods you eat.

How Much Is Enough?

Children  need to eat about 0.5 grams of protein for every pound (0.5 kilograms) they weigh. That’s a gram for every 2 pounds (1 kilogram) of your weigh and increase as you grow.  However Adults, for instance, need for protein is about 60 grams per day.

To work  out your protein needs, multiply your weight in pounds times 0.5 or you can just take your weight and divide by 2. For instance, a 70-pound (or 32-kilogram) kid should have about 35 grams of protein every day. If you only know your weight in kilograms, you need about 1 gram of protein each day for every kilogram you weigh.

An average serving of dairy is as follows 

• 1 glass of milk (250ml)

• 2 slices or 4 cubes of cheese (40g), or

• 1 small tub of yogurt (200g) or protein bar


Before and during exercise

The nutritional goals for junior athletes before training or an event is and to top up their carbohydrate stores and maintain a level of hydration. Water is best although for intense work outs or endurance sports water with added electrolytes can be helpful although avoid sugar free brands.  Carbohydrates are the main energy source for high intensity exercise. They are also important for keeping blood sugar levels stable and assist with maintaining concentration during school and training.

Alternatives for kids can be taking a  tub of yogurt, a bowl of cereal with milk, cheese and rye biscuits or a carton of protein milk substitute derived from peas or other protein source.  These can make it both easy and  practical ways of giving hungry kids a ready to go snack  to boost energy before training or competition.

Recovery after exercise

After training or competition, a recovery snack or meal is important to replace carbohydrate stores, rebuild muscles and rehydrate tired bodies. A recovery snack should:

• be as close as practical to finishing a session – ideally within 10-20 mins

• include GO carbohydrates, Grow proteins and fluid.

Dairy foods provide all the nutrients required for recovery. A glass of milk contains 10g of high quality Grow protein to help repair and rebuild muscles, GO carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and fluid and electrolytes for rehydration. Other quick and easy dairy foods that are suitable recovery snacks for young swimmers include a tub of yogurt, a glass of flavoured milk, drinking yogurt or a smoothie. Ensure snacks are followed by a more substantial meal to complete the recovery process. Depending on the time of day, this might include ideas such as a nice slice of my  Omega 3 Rich Cacao and Coconut Cake recipe or food that has the Essential Amino Acids to keep us and our loved ones happy, healthy and well !. Remember that not all sessions require a specific recovery snack and often the next meal is just a suitable but with a good source of protein.


After high intensity training sessions milk/alternative dairy protein may provide  most of the requirements for your child’s recovery and hydration – fluid, protein, and carbohydrates, and electrolytes including sodium and potassium. Interesting, Milk is higher in electrolytes than most sports drinks, which helps swimmers rehydrate by improving fluid retention.  Milk is also effective in enhancing the pH of the mouth .

The practical benefits of dairy

• There is a big variety of dairy products to choose from in terms of nutrition composition (full-fat, reduced-fat, no-fat, calcium enriched) and flavours which allows the athlete to choose a product that best suits their needs and taste preferences.

• Lactose free dairy products are available for swimmers with lactose intolerance, remembering cheese contains minimal lactose so should be fine for those with a diagnosed intolerance.

• Fresh juiced drinks with added pea protein are a safe alternative to diary or fruit and nut smoothies provide additional fats, carbohydrates and protein  when required and are a good option as healthy alternatives to the traditional quick fix snacks.

•  Complex Protein bars made at home or bought from a good whole food shop are   portable and have a long shelf life which makes them great for travel and competition, to add to a meal or take as a snack on the run.

• Protein bars are a cost effective and enjoyable recovery option for children athletes .• Cheese has been criticised for its high salt content, so buy organic or a goat cheese alternative which have less salt.  However salt is a the electrolyte that is  sweated out during most high intensity exercise, meaning cheese or other protein alternatives can be used  post exercise to aid fluid retention and rehydration.

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