Almost every athlete’s parent has, at one point or another, been forced to stop at a gas station or convenience store to feed a hungry kid on the way to practice or a game.
Unfortunately, kids can be tempted to choose foods with little to no nutritional value, especially when left to their own devices in a store filled with junk food. Items like candy, chips, pizza or soda can leave them with low energy or stomach issues, leading to worse performance in their practice or game.
Instead, help your young athlete feel fueled and ready to compete by encouraging healthy snacking on the go. The following snacks are energy-rich and full of flavor — and usually available at the standard roadside c-store.
1. Nuts, trail mix or nut butter + fruit
Choose a package of almonds, trail mix or peanut butter with fruit for a snack full of carbohydrates and healthy fats—sure to keep a young athlete energized.
2. Greek yogurt
For protein with some staying power, add a packet of nuts or a serving of cereal to Greek yogurt.
3. Cheese + fruit
For a balanced snack, pair any cheese with fruit and whole-grain crackers or pretzels.
4. Popcorn + nuts
Swap the caramel corn for a bag of air-popped or plain salted popcorn. Add a package of nuts for a snack that provides carbohydrates and healthy fats.
5. Beef jerky
Jerky is a high-protein snack that can be eaten with pretzels, applesauce or fruit for another balanced snack option.
6. Protein bars
When choosing a protein bar, grab one made with nuts for a snack with plenty of protein and carbohydrates. A protein bar is a great pre- or post-game choice.
7. Chocolate milk
Drink chocolate milk to promote recovery after workouts. It’s full of protein and carbohydrates that are good for tired muscles.
These are all good options for the quick pit stop on the road to games or practices. They’re lifesavers when you’re running a little behind and the fridge is empty at home.
For some ideas on how to keep that fridge stocked, read up on meal prep strategies for busy athletes courtesy of Sanford POWER.
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