Making Kids Sports Snacks Healthy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It takes strong parents to try and buck the current sports snacks & drinks trend.  Every game and practice, kids are loading up on high-fructose corn syrup snacks and juice boxes.  And if it isn’t the snack, they are hitting the snack bar for donuts, hotdogs and candy.  Parents also report visits to fast-food outlets on days that their kids take part in sports, relying on convenient foods as they juggle busy schedules of games and practice.  “The food environment in youth sports exposes kids and their families to many unhealthy foods and beverages and few healthful options,” said Toben F. Nelson, ScD, of the University of Minnesota.  His team of researchers believes that youth sports programs offer a promising setting for promoting better nutrition.  They recommend collaboration between sports leagues, dietitians, and health professionals to create positive messages about nutrition that can be integrated into youth sports programs.  They also suggest that youth sports programs develop guidelines for which foods and beverages should be offered as snacks or sold at concession stands.

Fruit makes a great snack during breaks from sports, particularly bananas, apples, grapes, pears and oranges.  Skip the sugary drinks and encourage kids to bring their own water bottle!

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