3 Nutrition Truths To Help Improve Your Child's Athletic Performance
Is your child getting into sports and wants to improve performance?
Curious how a personal trainer could help through nutrition guidance and athletic support?
When it comes to athletic performance, the majority of the focus lies within what your child can do in the weight room in order to improve out on-the-court - and for good reason! There’s a lot of good athletic qualities that can be built and transferred to the game.
However, one area that often gets neglected is nutrition. It’s unfortunate as an athlete is only going to be able to push their body as far as the quality of food that they’re putting in their body.
The goal of today’s article is to help you look at nutrition from a different perspective that will help enhance your athlete’s performance, both on & off-the-field.
1) It All Starts WIth You
“Little Jonny doesn’t eat healthy.”
The truth of the matter is “Little Jonny doesn’t eat healthily” = Mom & Dad don’t buy healthy food and bring it into the home and therefore aren’t setting the right example.
You are the role models for what the expectation is when it comes to what your kids put into their mouths. Like it or not, you are setting the bar.
I know it can be extremely difficult to balance work, family, running your kids around to extracurriculars, finding time for yourself, and everything else that goes into your day-to-day. And I’m sure that it can feel like eating healthy is impossible, but I can assure you that is not. It just requires a little bit of planning.
The good news is that there are a lot of different strategies that you can do!
Some examples of what you can do are:
Set one to two times per week that you plan and prep meals as a family
If schedule is a limiting factor, then opting for a healthy meal delivery service may be the way to go. Kettlebell Kitchen, Icon Meals, and Plated are all good options for you to try.
Create weekly menus that make meal prepping more fun and engaging for the entire family
You’re only limited by your own creativity on this one. Try and involve the family as much as you can. It might be something that you need to dive into on your own, the rest of the family sees the results that you’re getting, and then they (including your athlete) want to start eating healthy too.
2) Avoid Overcomplicating Things
Nutrition can be super confusing for most people - and sports nutrition even more confusing.
The beauty of the internet is that there is so much information out there. On the other hand, the scary part about the internet is that there is so much information out there; anybody can write what they want and it all it takes is for a small audience to start spreading that information as truth. Before you know it, things are out of control and you don’t know what to believe!
With all of that said, use these guidelines to keep things simple. Each meal, your athlete should strive for the following:
1-2 servings of a healthy fat source (i.e. avocado, all-natural nut butter, extra virgin olive oil)
1-2 palm-sized portions of a lean protein source (i.e. skinless chicken, ground turkey, whey protein powder)
1-2 handfuls of a healthy carb source (i.e. sweet potato, white potato, whole grain pasta)
Unlimited amounts of veggies
Liquids consumed should mostly be water. Dairy milk (for bone health), unsweetened teas, and sports drinks (for competition only) can be implemented as well.
Your athlete should strive to eat this way at least 80% of the time. Pizza, burgers, and ice cream are just fine from time-to-time. After all, they’re kids! Just remember to keep it simple & apply the 80% rule.
3) Find an Additional “Voice” To Solidify Your Message At Home
“It’s so funny, I tell them that all of the time, but they never listen to me. Now you tell them, and they start doing it!” How many times have you said that line? Probably more times than you care to count! Know that you aren’t alone on this one. This is typical of teenage athletes.
This additional “voice” can come in the form of strength and conditioning professional, their sports coach, a nutritionist, or some other professional that is a valuable part of your athletes “team”.
There you go, now you’re equipped with 3, real-world nutrition strategies to help your child’s athletic performance!
If you need help with diet or sports performance, Contact Us to schedule your free fitness assessment and download our Free 21-Day Kickstart Program!