Your young athlete needs nutritious food to keep them fueled for the physical demands of their active lifestyle. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for parents to cook meals that you would typically find on an elite athlete’s daily menu. However, some of the healthiest meals are easy to prepare.
The key is to plan your meals and keep your fridge and pantry stocked with the right ingredients. Here are seven nutritious yet quick meals and snacks to give your kid the energy they need:
Eggs are rich in vitamins and minerals that promote muscle growth. Omelets are a great way to get your kid to eat vegetables. Scramble two eggs and mix in finely chopped peppers, onions, spinach, and mushrooms. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Athletes need fiber and oatmeal is an excellent source. Unfortunately, getting your kid to eat oatmeal isn’t that easy as many find it bland. A great way to make oatmeal more attractive is by adding fresh fruits, honey, chocolate chips, or even marshmallows. Oatmeal is excellent with fresh strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and sliced bananas.
Salmon is considered a super food for athletes. Studies have shown how eating fish regularly can help prevent heart attacks later in life. Salmon is high in heart-healthy omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Salmon is incredibly easy to grill or cook, and it tastes great with brown rice and vegetables.
Peanut butter and Apple
Peanut butter spread on apple slices is quick and easy. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein, and it’s rich in heart-healthy fats. So it is delicious and nutritious. It tastes great with apples.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomato Sauce
For the health of your family, make it a habit of ditching white pasta and opting for whole-wheat pasta instead. Whole wheat pasta is higher in iron and contains more fiber and vitamins than regular pasta.
Top the whole-wheat pasta with fresh tomato sauce. Tomatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Tomatoes are incredibly rich in lycopene and antioxidants. Your kid will love tomato sauce with Italian sausage, bacon cubes, or meatballs.
Turkey meat is lean and is full of vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of protein which your young athlete needs. It’s also much healthier than all-beef burgers. Encourage your kids to top it with cheese, crisp lettuce, and tomatoes.
Burrito bowls may seem complicated to make as they involve so many ingredients. However, it’s not complicated to put together at all. All you need to cook are brown rice and shredded chicken breasts. Add that to fresh chopped cilantro, black beans, mashed avocado, salsa, and Greek yogurt, and you’ve got a healthy but delicious burrito bowl your kid will love.
Ensuring your athlete is adequately fueled for the demands of sports is preparation. Know your child’s schedule and plan meals around their schedule. Be sure they eat healthy snacks to keep them from giving into cravings like junk food and sugary sweets.
Artificial turf is primarily a surface made of fake grass. Also referred to as artificial lawn, it is constructed to mimic the appearance of a real lawn. The “grass” is made of synthetic fibers or yarn which are typically polyethylene or polypropylene. There are high-quality artificial lawns that feel very much like real grass; they consist of many layers that include backing, cushioning, and even drainage layers and infill.
Because artificial turf is so low-maintenance; it has become more commonplace on athletic fields. But while they are durable and easier to maintain, many parents of young athletes are questioning their safety. To understand whether artificial turf is dangerous for our children, here are their pros and cons.
Artificial turf looks and feels so close to real grass that many cannot tell it’s fake. Synthetic grass or synthetic turf has gained popularity for residential and commercial properties because they achieve the look of lush greenery but don’t come with the costs of maintaining a real lawn. After all, they don’t need trimming, watering, or fertilizer. And you don’t have to worry about getting them sufficient sunlight.
Artificial turf is advertised as allergen-free because fake grass cannot trigger allergies. They are said to be made from non-toxic materials and therefore, cannot introduce harmful chemicals to your children. They’re even supposed to be safer for kids. They do not develop depressions or holes that can trip up children in the way that real grass and soil can. Remember that natural grass doesn’t drain well, causing holes and dips that create puddles when it rains, or the lawn is watered. Real grass can also be quite slippery because of the soil that turns into mud.
While artificial turf looks and feels like real grass, it indeed doesn’t smell like real grass. In fact, it emits an unpleasant odor on hot days. There have also been reports that kids’ shoes melt from the heat that artificial turfs give off. A report in the NY Daily News once reported artificial turf could heat up to 162 degrees even on a mild summer day.
To create the look and feel of real turf, artificial turf is also covered in crumb rubber which is supposed to resemble fake dirt. Crumb rubber is made up of recycled tires which can be toxic. Tires are made of both natural and synthetic rubber, along with carbon black which is a material made from petroleum. There are also chemical compounds which have been known to be carcinogens.
And while turf companies say there is no chance that kids will ingest the crumb rubber. However, children can easily touch the crumb rubber or drop a piece of fruit and pick it up. Players run and kick the turf, sending crumb-rubber particles flying. It can end up in their mouths, ears, and open cuts. And each time the ball hits the ground, it can send the crumbs up in the air, and our kids can inhale it.
While artificial grass itself is safe, the crumb rubber used to mimic dirt is not. Sometime in mid to late 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conclude a peer-led study based on evidence to understand the potential health risks of crumb rubber better.