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Top Ten Nutrition Tips for Active Children

6. Protein's The Building Block

  • Protein plays a role in building muscle, fighting infection, and provides signals and controls for tissue growth and maintenance.

  • While protein is important, a high-protein diet is not recommended for athletes and replacing carbohydrates with protein can actually impair athletic performance. Without adequate carbs an athlete will tire quickly and won't have the energy to train or compete.

  • Top food sources: poultry, meat, fish, cheese, yogurt, milk and beans or legumes.

7. Don't Forget Some Fat

  • A high-fat diet is not healthy - but neither is a zero-fat diet.

  • Having some fat in the diet is important for health and is a key energy source for young athletes.

  • Go for low-fat foods as well as non-fat foods.

8. Keep Kids' Fuel Tanks Filled

  • In addition to healthy meals, provide snacks before and after exercise.

  • Pack high-carbohydrate, moderate protein, low-fat snacks such as granola bars, energy bars, pretzels, trail mix, fruit, peanut butter and crackers, bagels, and fluids. For a list of snacks, click here

9. Variety Is The Spice Of Life

  • A healthy lifestyle is all about making choices.

  • Are your kids eating the same foods day after day? They're probably missing out on important nutrients be different try new foods and recipes.

  • Foods high in carbohydrates and fiber (grains, veggies, fruits) are essential to good health.

10. Get Your Kids Energized!

  • Meet active kids' energy needs through foods and fluids.

  • The best balance for active kids: 50-55% of calories from carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, rice and pasta; 10-15% from protein food like meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and nuts; and 25-30% from fats such as oils and sweets.

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