Lunch Menu

Fueling for Success!

Active bodies require increased energy needs to maintain proper health.  Caloric demand on a daily basis for brain power, growth, and simple daily tasks requires consistent fuel sources found in a variety of foods.  Add intense physical activity to the list, and the demand becomes even greater.  Help your child’s body properly fuel the multiple demands upon it with these simple tips.

Hydration.

Adequate fluid intake is essential to an athlete’s body for many reasons, but most importantly for temperature regulation as well as removing wastes that active muscle produce.

  • Monitor hydration status regularly.  A simple urine check or pre/post exercise weight check is all it takes to check hydration status.  Clear, odorless urine means adequate hydration, whereas dark (Mountain Dew to Apple Juice color) with a strong odor is an indicator of dehydration.  Using the pre/post weight check, a 1-2% weight loss can be an indicator of inadequate hydration.
  • Drink fluids throughout the day.  Encourage your children to carry a water bottle with them to school and sip on water throughout the day.  As a general rule of thumb, children should consume 5 glasses (1 liter) for 5 to 8 year olds; 7 glasses (1.5 liters) for 9 to12 year olds; 8 to 10 glasses (2 liters) for 13+ years.
  • Rehydrate.  Hydration after a workout is just as important as before and during activity.  Within the first 30 minutes after a strenuous event/workout, athletes should replace fluid and electrolytes lost during exercise.  This could be in the form of water, an electrolyte replacement drink, even low-fat flavored milk like Chocolate milk.  Roughly 16-24 oz of fluid at the least should be consumed within 2 hours after exercise.
  • Not all beverages are created equal.  Carbonated beverages can often curve your sensation for thirst, and caffeinated beverages may dehydrate you if your body is not use to it.  Low fat milk, 100% Fruit Juice, and plain water are the preferred choices for hydration.  During high intense activities last more than one hour, or long durations in the heat may require a properly formulated sports drink.

Meals/Snacks:

  • Fuel up with complex carbohydrates.  Carbohydrate is the #1 fuel source for your body, and complex carbohydrate sources provide the energy spurts that your body craves!  Whole grain breads, cereals, grains, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables are all considered complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates also help refuel muscles after sports/workouts.
  • Power up with protein.  For strong bones, muscle recovery, and healthy immune function protein is an essential part of an active child’s diet.  Include a lean protein source with each meal.  Lean meats, eggs, yogurt, low fat cheese, milk, nuts, are all great sources of lean protein.  Be sure and include a variety throughout the day and week.
  •  Healthy Fats.  Our bodies rely on healthy fats for many functions, but mostly as a second form of fuel sources for sustained energy – especially during long, endurance types of exercise.  Almonds, walnuts, nut butters, avocados, canola oil, olive oil are just a few examples of healthy fats.  Just keep in mind that small portions of these healthy fats go a long way.  Be sure and keep the portion size of these items in check.

Keeping these few simple tips in mind as you plan for meals and snacks for your athlete will help them perform at the top of their game, and they will thank you for it!

Be sure and follow us on our Facebook page @USD267NutritionWellness this month for articles related to gardening as well as pictures of our daily menus.

Thank you for supporting our USD 267 Renwick School Nutrition Programs.  

 

     
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