What to Feed Your Active Child
By Sara Butler
With school back in session, it’s also time for fall sports to begin! You and your children are probably pretty excited about the season’s kickoff, but are you really prepared? Kids – especially active kids – need nutritious foods to fuel their growing, active bodies. Here are some tips to help you to feed your active kids in order to keep them happy and healthy!
Make Calories Matter
When kids are between the ages of 6 and 12, they need somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,600 to 2,500 calories a day depending on their activity level. You should let your child’s appetite be the guide to how much they eat each day. But you also need to ensure that your child is eating things that will nourish them, not just fill them up.
A great example is an apple versus some potato chips. Sure, potato chips may make them feel full for a few minutes, but an apple is going to fill them up and provide them with fiber to help them feel fuller for longer as well as providing your child with essential nutrients. Make sure your active child is receiving a range of foods that contain healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates.
Hydration is a big deal for everyone – including active people of all ages. A child should have somewhere between four and six cups of water each day and an active child may need more. Just remember that children who have not gone through puberty sweat more than adolescents or adults, so they need water during activities to keep their bodies cool.
Be on the lookout for signs of dehydration in your child such as:
- Problems focusing
- Tiring easily
Try to instill good hydration habits in your child such as changing clothes, then sipping water. During breaks in practice, take a sip of water. After practice has concluded, take a sip of water. They need to be sipping about every 20 minutes. You can give them sports drinks and fruit juice, but understand water is always going to be the best option because it is free of sugar. To make water more appealing to your child, you can try adding slices of their favorite fruit!
Feeding an active child has its own challenges but together you can find a successful formula of food they'll eat with the nutrition they need!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Richardson, Tex.