Kids Competition Preparation Challenge

The week before any competition is really important time tokids_sports_nutrition prepare your body so it is in the best possible condition. This Competition Preparation Challenge is for kids assuming they are old enough to read and do it themselves!  As parents do support them with this and encourage them for the sake of their own health.

There are two types of preparation.  First is training sessions which  you are already doing with your coaches.  The second is what YOU can do other than training .

Here are my 5 top tips to help YOU with the second part of the preparation.  I have also set out some challenges which I know you can achieve.  If some of the foods are new to your house then ask your parents to buy them or if you are old enough make a trip to the local shop and get them.

  1. Protein

Be sure to include some protein foods with each of your meals.  These foods help to build your muscles so they are strong enough to do the various moves.  They also help to repair your muscles which get damaged during training.

What are protein foods?

Lean Beef or Pork, Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Tofu, Seeds like Sunflower, Pumpkin, Chia, Linseed, Sesame, Poppy, Nuts like Almonds, Pecans, Pistachio, Brazil or Peanuts.

Challenge: Eat a Protein Food with Each Meal and Snack.

  1. Breakfast

Did you know that this is the most important meal of the day?

Why?  While you have been sleeping parts of your body including your brain, heart, lungs have been working all night.  Your body was using your energy stores to work through the night, so when you wake your energy stores have been used up!  So you need to eat a wholesome breakfast to give yourselves some energy.  What should you eat for breakfast?  Wholesome cereals like Porridge, Shreddies, All Bran, Branflakes, sugar free Museli, Egg & Brown Toast, Granola with fruit & greek/natural yoghurt.

Challenge: Eat a Wholesome Breakfast each Morning.

  1. Snacks

If you are hungry between meals your body wants a particular type of snack.

Why?  It wants a snack which will give you energy and help it grow.  It also wants food which will help repair and replace parts inside our body which have been used up during your busy day.  So be kind to your body and give it what it wants.

What will I snack on?  Fruit there so many to choose from – bananas, apples, plums, strawberries, blueberries…. the list goes on, Nuts like Almonds, Pecans, Pistachio or Peanuts, Cheese & Crackers, Carrot Sticks, Granola Bars (ideally homemade ones without too much sugar),  Nut butters  on brown bread or Oatcakes – use the sugar free brand e.g. Meridian, Hummus & Ryvita crackers.

What about Snacks after  Training?  It’s so important to eat something healthy after training.  Why? You have used up lots of your energy while training so you need to eat to have more energy again.  Also you have worked and stretched your muscles a lot – they need healthy food to help them recover and mend from all the hard work.  If you eat crisps, chocolate, sugary foods, fizzy drinks or other unhealthy foods your body just doesn’t get the right foods to help it recover.

What should you eat after Training?

Smoothie with nuts/seeds, Apple slices & Almond Butter sandwich, Banana & Peanut butter sandwich (sugar-free peanut butter! e.g. meridian brand), Wholemeal Sandwich with a meat or fish or egg filling, Fruit with greek / natural yogurt and granola, Cheese & Jam Sandwich.

  1. School Lunches

Although you are not doing gymnastics training while at school your muscles are still mending from the last training session.  If you give them healthy food they are more likely to be mended and rested for the next training session.  Also remember every day you are growing so healthy food is needed for your bones, brain, muscles & heart to grow.

What is a Healthy Lunch for School?  Wholemeal brown bread with some meat, egg or tuna, lettuce, tomatoes, Soup and brown bread, Brown pasta or rice salad (be sure to include some of your favourite vegetables in it). Have a piece of fruit too.  Often children are so busy eating lunch they forget to drink so after lunch and at break time be sure to drink water.

Challenge: Drink 500ml of Water Every Day at School.

  1. Rest & Sleep

Why?

Our body cannot function at its best without enough sleep – it is a fact! I expect you want your body to be working at its best for the competition?  Between the ages of 5-12 years kids need 10-11 hours’ sleep each night. Also with a busy training schedule you are putting your body under a lot of stress & pressure – so it needs time to rest, mend and repair. Give it the rest it needs and have more quiet and relaxing time this week.  Your brain needs the ‘downtime’ too so be sure to turn off the screens i.e. tv’s, ipods, tablets etc. and take out a book, jigsaw or some drawing instead – it is much more restful for your brain.

Challenge: Have a Max of 1 hour Screens Each Day & 10 ½ Hours’ Sleep Each Night.

Good luck with the challenge, I know you can do it 🙂

Wholesome recipes for Kids & Adults: