Last month we wrote about the heavy energy (calorie) demands of young swimmers, and several parents have written asking for calorie-rich and nutrient-dense snacking ideas.
Many young swimmers struggle to eat enough at meals. Early morning practice, abbreviated school lunch periods, and afterschool practice and homework means snacking takes on an important role when meals are missed.
I’m using the criteria of good taste, good nutrition, and energy-rich to support practice and promote recovery in choosing these snacks.
As for the milk, whole or 2% milk provides more calories, and emerging research suggests that the fat in milk isn’t as unhealthy as we used to think. The matrix of all the nutrients in milk make for a healthy package. If you prefer plant-based milk, make sure you choose one that provides protein – at least 8 grams per serving – so it is comparable to real dairy milk. Your almond milk might contain less protein and fewer almonds than you think!
Snack on, and let me know your favorite snacks!
Christine Rosenbloom is a registered dietitian, sports nutritionists, and nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University. She welcomes questions from swimmers, parents, and coaches at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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