Youth athletes are busier than ever. As a parent of a young athlete, so are you. From after school practices and games, to weekend tournaments and specialized sports performance training, you might find it difficult (or near impossible) to always have prepared healthy snacks for athletes, but nutritious foods to fuel their busy lifestyle are crucial to performance and adolescent growth.
When planning healthy snacks for your young athlete, some things to keep in mind are:
- Keep it simple. Be sure the snacks are quality food with limited artificial ingredients and other pollution.
- 40/40/20. As a general rule, think 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fat. This protein/carb/fat ratio will keep your athlete full and energized.
The following ideas are great healthy snacks for athletes on the go.
Protein Shake with Banana & Peanut Butter
Supercharge your athlete’s typical fruit smoothie with a scoop of chocolate protein – a delicious option that any young athlete is sure to love.
Protein Shake and PB&J Sandwich
The perfect pre- or post-game option. This healthy snack will fuel your athlete with fast-digesting carbs for quick energy and recovery.
One of the simplest healthy snacks for athletes is a protein bar. Nowadays, you can find protein bars in every grocery and convenience store. Some brands we would suggest are Quest, One Bar and Think Thin. Be sure to read the ingredient label for high sugar content or high calorie. Choose something that has a fat count less than 10g, 20-30g carbs and 20-30g protein.
Hummus with Veggies & Pretzels
Sabra Hummus To Go packs with pretzels are a great snack for your athlete. Pair those with some veggies such as snap peas or broccoli for added micronutrients.
Greek Yogurt & Fruit
If you have that option of packing something that needs to keep cool, greek yogurt and fruit is another great option. Greek yogurt is higher in protein content than regular yogurt and contains important probiotic cultures for gut health.
Rice Crisps & Protein Shake
Want healthy snacks for athletes that are picky eaters? Quaker Rice Crips paired with a protein shake is a simple and flavorful option to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Trail mix is a tried and true on-the-go option for athletes. When purchasing, try to stick with mixes that have all-natural ingredients with little to no added sugar. While your athlete may want the trail mix with M&Ms (we can’t blame them), see if you can persuade them to try the mixes with raisins and yogurt instead.
Apple & Peanut Butter with Protein Shake
Another healthy staple is apples and peanut butter. Supercharge this healthy snack with a protein shake.
Packing healthy snacks for athletes on the go doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Find a few options that your athlete loves and be sure to always have them on hand for those particularly busy days.