Here at the LA Galaxy, our Academy student-athletes have quite the busy schedule. We do our best to fuel them throughout the day with lunch (cooked by our club chef!) and nutritious snacks.
Each day these high-schoolers train in the morning and head straight to our on-site classroom for an afternoon full of learning. A few days out of the week are dedicated to gym sessions in the evening after classes. As you can imagine, these are long days that can be physically and mentally draining. Thankfully nutrition can help with academic performance, as well as the athletic performance mentioned in our previous blog post.
Kids need healthy snacks between meals in order to maximize attention spans, focus, energy, mood, and even memory capability. It is important to show kids that snacks are “mini-meals” and should not simply fill a craving. Ideally, snacks should include a mix of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and good fats to keep them full and energized throughout the day. An easy way to do this is hitting two food groups in a snack, like carrots and hummus, string cheese and an apple, or nuts and dried fruit.
In the Galaxy Academy, we like to keep the classroom stocked with fruit, Greek yogurt, squeezable smoothie packs, pretzels, popcorn, low sugar granola bars, string cheese, low sugar instant oatmeal packs, and hard-boiled eggs. Some other great snack ideas include:
- Homemade trail mix
- Peanut butter & banana sandwich
- Cottage cheese + fruit
- Avocado toast
- KIND or Kashi granola bars
- Greek yogurt + berries
- Celery + peanut butter + raisins
- Tuna or chicken salad on pita
If you opt for store-bought snacks (totally understandable for convenience!), choose items without artificial colors or flavors, vegetable oils, added sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. There are many of these healthy options on the market now!
Even if your child isn’t competing at the level of our Academy players, nutrition is equally important to fuel their mental focus during class and activity at recess or after-school sports.
Nutrition for the win!
Brooke & Nicolette