First things first. Parents can encourage healthy eating behaviors in children by first modeling those desired behaviors. Young drivers will follow the behaviors of the adults in their lives. Therefore, if you want your athlete to eat healthy, please work to set a good example. Many families already know the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet. But if your child is racing on a regular basis, you’ll need a plan to optimise their nutrition and dietary needs.
Eating a healthy diet ensures that an athlete is getting all the nutrients their body needs to produce energy and create new muscle tissue, enzymes and other cellular structures involved in energy metabolism. Proper nutrition can also help repair damage from training as well as everyday wear and tear, and keeps the body’s muscles, bones, joints, tendons and organs functioning properly.
Three Mission Nutrition Tips
- Young athletes should be eating five or six balanced meals and snacks each day, and should be eating every three hours. Each meal should include a balance of complex carbs, lean protein, healthy fat, fruits and vegetables. Each snack should include a combination of all three macronutrients: complex carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats.
2. Get started . . . Keep it simple . . . Cleanest sources available.
- Whole grains and other complex carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, whole grain breakfast cereals, sweet potatoes, squash and beans)
- Fruits (2 to 4 servings per day)
- Vegetables (3 to 5 servings per day)
- Lean proteins (chicken, fish, beans/lentils, tofu, eggs, yogurt and milk)
- Healthy fats (nuts, nut butter, seeds, olive oil and avocado)
3. Build a relationship with food that will last a lifetime. We’ve all heard the age old adage “you are what you eat”. But think of it this way; what fuels the renewing of the cells . . . that’s right, everything you eat and drink. So in fact; you literally, “Become what You Eat”!