It isn’t merely academics that ensures a sense of holistic growth and if you have enrolled your child into some sports activity, you’ve definitely made a worthy investment.
However, that is just the beginning of the story. Sujatha S, RD/Nutritionist, Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic, Chennai, comments, “Supporting a young athlete doesn’t stop with enrolling them in their favourite sport. Besides developing requisite skills for the sport, there is a huge responsibility in how parents help their child manage all the elements impacting an athlete’s performance – including diet, rest, and psychological well-being.”
Here’s how you can ensure that your child is healthy enough to top his sports game.
Force-feeding your child is not the way: Parents usually think it is important that a child eats everything. However, this does not always go down right. Sujatha mentions, “Educate the child about good food habits and allow him/her enough space to choose the best kind of foods that can help them improve in the sport.”
Bigger body frame doesn’t equate to a higher fat percentage: “Kindly go for a body composition test and approach a professional to plan your child’s nutrition appropriately,” recommends Sujatha.
Carbohydrates do not mean unnecessary fats: Carbohydrates are the most preferred source of fuel when it comes to strenuous activities. Sujatha suggests that “a carbohydrate-rich snack would help the child kickstart the training and also sustain energy levels.” It is advised that kids munch on something lighter before getting on with their sports activities.
Staying hydrated is the key: Ensure your child gets his daily dose of hydration. Since the number of fluids will vary depending on the intensity and duration of the session, ensure the child sips enough fluids during the practice sessions.
Proteins are vital for boosting post-training recovery: “Ensure all the major meals contain a source of good-quality protein – milk, dairy products, eggs, meat, chicken and fish,” mentions the nutritionist. Pulses along with eggs or milk can be offered since these proteins can be absorbed quickly into the body making it for the perfect post-training snack to support recovery.
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