This is a time for rapid growth and high levels of activity. Eating and drinking practices
adopted at this stage often form the corner stone of dietary habits practiced through life.
This can also be a time of nutritional risk. Young people have a tendency to skip meals, snack
frequently and rely heavily on fast foods. Children and adolescents involved in sport have
high energy requirements . Children in physically demanding sports find it difficult to satisfy
their energy needs. This can be due to small stomach capacity, poor appetite or food being a
low priority. Fortunately the young can be great snackers but it is important to encourage
snacks that are nutritious but low in fat. I have listed below some snack ideas:
• Peanut butter on toast (best if wholemeal)
• Toasted muffins and golden syrup
• Fruit loaf
• Pitta bread with healthy dips
• Fresh fruit salad
• Baked beans on toast
• Low fat creamy rice
• Low fat yogurt
• Whole grain cereal with banana
These sorts of snacks will sustain young athletes during sporting events and tournaments, not
forgetting there is no substitute to a well-balanced meal of protein, carbohydrate and fresh
vegetables when the exertions of the day are over.
It’s generally acknowledged that at no time in life is nutrition more important than in
adolescence especially in you athletes.