Adolescent girl drinking milk

Jun 11, 2020 / Sports Medicine

Recovery Snacks for the Recreational Athlete

Summer is full of sports and activities like biking, swimming and rollerblading with family and friends. While kids may not exert the kind of energy in these recreational activities as they would in organized, competitive sports, they can finish exhausted, dehydrated and with low energy stores. Traditional recovery strategies are not necessary for these kids, but they may want and need a good post-activity snack. Sports dietitian Taylor Morrison, M.S., R.D., CSSD, L.D., tells us that parents often ask, "What are some good snack ideas for my hungry child?” Morrison says to choose something that your child enjoys and provides a little nutrition as these are important years for growth and development.

Competitive athletes are focused on specific amounts of carbohydrate, protein and fluid consumed around and during activity, but most casual athletes and busy kids don’t need to do this. The demands of time and effort look very different from competitive athletes and therefore the recovery needs are different. 

Post-activity snacks need to sufficiently, but not excessively, restore depleted energy levels and provide some fluid. A little protein or fat can help the snack “stick” for longer or until it’s time for dinner. Also, because these are prime bone-building years, any calcium and vitamin D they can get from a snack is an added bonus. Most kinds of milk and some yogurts are now fortified with vitamin D but make sure to check the nutrition label to determine the vitamin D content of your milk and yogurt at home. 

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Not sure what makes a good post-activity snack? Give some of these ideas a try to satisfy your active and hungry kids!

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