Sure, you can get snack-size packs from the vending machine at the gym. But processed foods high in fat and salt aren’t great for athletes. So instead, opt for raw veggies, nuts, and seeds, including almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, to replace high-calorie, fattier snacks like chips and candy.
To increase stamina and alertness, athletes need healthy fats, fiber, and proteins. Vitamins, minerals, and fiber in fresh fruit and vegetables keep kids healthy and active. Raw carrots, apples, broccoli, and blueberries have few calories, so kids can fill up without feeling hungry. Additionally, a snack is an ideal opportunity to sneak in extra nutrients into your child’s diet.
To fuel your athlete before practice and homework, check out this list of kid-friendly and student-approved snacks. They’ll be recharged and ready to practice with more energy, endurance, and focus!
KID-FRIENDLY AND ATHLETE-APPROVED HEALTHY SNACKS
Plain, full-fat yogurt. For kid-friendly yogurt, add fruit. For extra crunch and protein, add chopped fruit, nuts, seeds, or granola. Additionally, full-fat and Greek-style yogurts are great for tummies that have trouble digesting lactose.
String cheese. The perfect healthy option to pack with your athlete’s lunch or bag when she has sports practice.
Fruit. What’s the point of reinventing the wheel when nature already does it? It’s a healthy, delicious snack that’s packed with nutrients. You can carry bananas anywhere. Fruit slices, especially apple slices, pair well with peanut butter. The antioxidants in berries are anti-inflammatory and protect your joints.
Celery is a low-calorie and low-fat snack. It makes eating veggies fun and is an excellent lunchbox snack when paired with nut or soy butter and raisins, aka “ants on a log.”
Oatmeal can be used to make a tasty snack. Adding milk to rolled oats gives them more protein. Top with sliced fruit like banana, strawberry, kiwi, or try adding flaxseed for adventurous eaters!
Carrot sticks and hummus are good sources of fiber, potassium, and healthy fats. They are also crunchy, which makes them a big hit with kids.
Smoothies are the perfect way to sneak more fruits and veggies into anyone’s diet! Try bananas and berries for less sugar. Smoothies can also be made with yogurt or protein powder for more protein, energy, and calcium.
Frozen fruit popsicles. Let’s skip the high-fructose corn syrup and DIY instead! Puree frozen fruit or fresh berries in your blender with a little fruit juice. Freeze overnight in popsicle molds or small plastic cups.
Sprouted pumpkin seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and healthy fats. They’re great for kids with allergies who can’t eat nuts. Make a snack on the go with dried fruit, coconut flakes, or dark chocolate chips.
Baked apple chips. Aside from vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, apples are also low in calories. Most store-bought apple chips contain preservatives and are high in sugar.
Crispy kale chips. Besides being packed with fiber and vitamins, kale is also a great source of iron, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. And surprise; kids love it when tossed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, and baked into crispy chips.
BAKED APPLE CHIPS
Put 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup thinly sliced raw apples, a pinch of salt, and a dash of cinnamon into a bowl and toss. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, flipping halfway. Let cool and enjoy this naturally sweet, crunchy, and gluten-free snack!
Whether you’re picking up the kids from carpool or getting them to after-school activities like cheer practice, it can be hard to find the time to prepare healthy snacks for your students. So, make these quick snacks to save time while fueling them! Share this list with your cheerleaders, parents, and friends so they get inspired, too. Be sure to tell us which snacks your athletes enjoy most!
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**Please note that the content on Level Up Cheer is not intended to replace professional medical advice. For any questions you may have, you should always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.