At many youth sporting events, an array of snacks flow through gyms, fields, pools and tracks. You’ve probably seen a variety of them, from cupcakes, donuts and juice pouches to orange slices, apples and granola bars.
Not all snacks are created equal. Some snacks contribute to the overall health of children, while others miss key nutrients for growth and development.
Here are 5 snacks that are nutritious, delicious and contribute to the health and growth of children:
|Photo credit: Peter Jacoby|
Orange slices: Loaded with potassium and fluid, oranges help children stay hydrated and avoid muscle cramping. Oranges are generally well accepted by children.
Bananas: Also potassium-rich, bananas provide a good source of fiber, are easy on the tummy, and don’t require refrigeration.
Whole grain pretzels: Salty pretzels help children replace sodium (salt) lost during sweating, especially in hot climates. They also contribute to whole grain intake, which is known to be deficient in children.
Whole grain crackers with peanut butter or cheese: Peanut butter or cheese adds protein, which can help children feel satisfied after eating and helps the working muscles to recover from prolonged or intense exercise.
Yogurt tubes: Yogurt, or any other dairy or non-dairy fortified substitute, provides protein, calcium, vitamin D and potassium, all of which help children grow healthy bones. Yogurt tubes can be frozen ahead of time and stored in a cooler.
Healthy snacks are all around us! Keep fruit, whole grains, dairy, vegetable and portable protein top of mind and you’ll be well on your way to packing healthy snacks.
What's your favorite healthy snack to pack for game day?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
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