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Fueling Your Athlete

Fueling Your Athletes

After school sports activities means packing lunches to Fuel Your Athlete for the entire day. Read on for tips on planning healthy pack-and-go foods for your athlete so you’re ready when the school bell rings.

·        Start with a plan. Before you create your weekly shopping list, plan lunches and snacks for the week so you can ensure you get all the essentials in one shopping trip.
·        Send them off to school with an insulated lunch box or tote. This will allow you to pack perishables. Keep foods cold by packing a small freezer gel pack.
·        Involve kids’ in the planning. They are more likely to accept meals and snacks they have had a hand in planning.
·        Make things easier by packing lunches the night before, this way they’re ready to grab-and go in the morning.
 
Lunch-box Essentials:
Mix and Match Lunch Ideas: Start with a healthy foundation; prepare sandwiches on whole grain bread. Keep them from getting bored by offering different types of whole grains such as whole grain sliced bread, pitas, wraps, rolls or bagels.
 
Then mix and match to make different combinations
Lean deli meat such as turkey breast, roast beef, or low-fat ham
Green leafy lettuce
Sliced Tomatoes
Onions
Low-fat mayo
or mustard
Grilled chicken breast
Grilled Vegetables
Hummus
Tuna fish or chicken salad prepared with low-fat mayo
Roasted Red Peppers (chopped or whole)
Low-fat Italian dressing
Or other low-fat choices such as Ranch or Honey mustard
Oldie but goodie: Updated peanut butter and jelly - prepare on whole grain white bread and use all natural fruit jam. Add in sliced bananas for an extra treat 
 
*Add low-fat cheese to sandwiches for extra calories, protein, and calcium
 
Pack them with Snacks
Packing healthy snacks will help to keep their energy soaring through practice or even the big game. 
 
Here are a few ideas:
 
Whole grain granola bars, trail mix with dried fruit, whole grain crackers, whole grain cereal, and nuts like almonds or peanuts.
 
Here are a few snack ideas that require a cold source: low fat string cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, and low fat chocolate milk.

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