Healthy Snacks for Teenage Athletes

Healthy Snacks For Teenage Athletes

One common reality of high school athletes is that they are busy. Between school, homework, practice, strength training, games, and weekend tournaments there can be limited time available to think about what to eat. Yet we know that with all the activities teenage athletes are involved in, their nutrition needs are great. Including healthy snacks in your teenage athlete’s daily meal plan can help fuel their activity and support their overall health and well-being. Here are three tips for helping teenage athletes include healthy snacks in their day.

Healthy Snack Tips for Teenage Athletes

Tip 1: Make Healthy Snacks Easy

Taking a few minutes to plan ahead on the weekend can help set your athlete up for sports nutrition success during the week. Having easy, healthy snacks available for your teenager to grab on the way out the door can make all the difference.

Consider prepacking individual bags of trail mix (see my Nutrition Tip for Building a Better Trail Mix) or making turkey wraps in advance. You can also pack individual containers of hummus or nut butter along with crackers or fruit. Try creating a snack basket in your fridge where your teenage athlete can grab several healthy snacks as they leave home for the day.

Tip 2: Make Snacks A Combo

When planning healthy snacks for your teenage athlete, think about combining a source of protein with a source of carbohydrates. The protein from the snack will support their active muscles. The carbohydrates will provide fuel for their daily activities. Here are some of my favorite healthy snack combos:

  • Oats & Honey Crunchy Granola Bars with Nut Butter
  • String Cheese with Whole Grain Crackers
  • Hummus with Pita Chips
  • Almonds with Apples
  • Turkey Wrap (turkey, cheese, whole wheat tortilla)
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly on Honey Wheat Bread (can’t go wrong with this classic!)

Tip 3: Pack Your Snacks

Help your teenage athlete think about all the different locations they can pack healthy snacks to have them avaialble when needed. Can they throw some granola bars in their backpack, trail mix in their locker, pretzels in the glovebox of the car, a sports drink and peanut butter crackers in their gym bag?

Many times athletes skip snacking simply because they do not have food available. Packing snacks in advance in multiple locations can help ensure your teenager has a healthy snack available when needed.

Focus on Consistency with Healthy Snacks

The importance of consistency is one key concept I often share with high schools athletes. Making healthy snacks a consistent part of their sports nutrition plan can make a difference for athletes looking to support their performance goals with nutrition.

For additional suggestions on ways to help your teenage athlete meet their performance nutrition needs visit with a Registered Dietitian who can work with you on developing a customized sports nutrition meal plan.

Healthy Snacks for Teenage Athletes
Backpack Snack Ideas - Be Prepared for Afternoon Workouts by Packing Snacks to Take With You

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