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After-school dinner on the go

After-school dinner on the go

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Nutrition, LiveWell

Your daughter is at cross-country practice until 5:30 p.m. Your son has a soccer game at 6 p.m. When you get home, you need to wash laundry if you don’t want your house to smell like a locker room.

It will be late, and everybody will be hungry. Actually, starving if you listen to your children. The easy thing to do is stop at the drive-thru for their favorite combo meal or order a pizza. However, frequently eating out can create unhealthy eating habits. Teenage athletes often burn through excess calories, but as they age and slow down, those habits will stay with them, and it can eventually lead to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.

You know how important nutrition is, especially to teenagers, and even more so for teenage athletes. So, plan and prepare meals with various healthy foods to eat on the go and when they get home.

To make it easy for everyone, place each meal in a separate safe-togo package. Then on the way out the door, everyone can grab their lunch, dinner, or snack to avoid getting hangry.

For athletes, include food high in calcium and iron. The calcium will support strong bones and help avoid fractures while they are running, jumping and falling. Iron found in lean meat, fish, chicken and leafy green vegetables will carry oxygen to the muscles.

Also, include protein for muscle growth and carbohydrates to give them energy. It’s tempting to slip a candy bar or soda into a meal to make children happy but avoid adding sweets so they can prevent the crash that comes after consuming sugar.

“Eating healthy during busy sports seasons takes planning. If you do, you’ll help your family in the long run by helping them avoid illness and lessen their chances of injuries. You’ll also get to see them perform at their top level,” said Anastasia Gevas, D.O., Genesis Primary Care.