Fit Kids for Summer Series: Proper Nutrition for You and Your Kids

We are onto Week 3 of our Fit Kids for Summer series. Are you loving it? Our guest today is Evi from Eyeliners and Erasers. She’s sharing some incredibly helpful information today, so take a look, and be sure to share it! -Kandice


Keeping your kids full is a challenge in and of itself. When a kid plays hard that makes it even more difficult for a mom to keep said kid out of her cupboards and outside. Nutrition plays a large role in keeping kids happy and healthy.
Ever wonder how much food is enough and what foods are considered good enough for your growing and active kid? It is hard to know when enough is too much. Luckily there are plenty of sources that provide a breakdown of what active kids (and moms, too!) need.
Here is a list of helpful tips to figure out the puzzle that is nutrition:
1. Drink enough water.
-When exercising, be sure to schedule to drink 5-9 ounces every 20 minutes.
-Sports drinks are to be used for an hour or more of exercise. Sports drinks should not be consumed at any other point in a day. Many people believe that sports drinks are healthier than sodas, but in all reality they are just as bad if not worse.
-Do a basic equation to calculate how much water to consume during exercise. This equation works for adults, too.
Step one: Weigh yourself before exercise
Step two: Weigh yourself after exercise
Step three: Multiply the number of pounds lost by 15.4
Step four: The end number that you get from step three is the amount of ounces an individual needs to drink throughout or immediately after exercise to replenish water lost.
Inline image 1
2. Eat the RIGHT carbs.
Good carbs consist of high fiber, low sugar plant foods that deliver fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals along with grams of carbohydrate, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
3. Eat before exercise.
This rule is important because you do not want to crash during exercise. Eat high and sustainable foods beforehand. Whole grains and low sugar fruits are great; however, save the bananas for post exercise (there are a lot of opinions on bananas in the nutrition world!).
4. Eat protein!
Protein powder shouldn’t be your only source of protein. REAL protein can be found most easily in meat and dairy. For very active kids (2-3 hours of activity daily) remember this ratio for everyday use: 55/15/30.
55% Healthy carbs (do not “carbo load”)
15% Protein
30% Fat (healthy fats, not JUNK food)
For moderately active kids and adults, 10-12% of caloric intake should be protein.
 
Endurance athletes need 1.2-1.4 g protein/kilogram of body weight every day. 1 kg equals 2.2 pounds. 
 
Strength trained athletes need as much as 1.6-1.7 g of protein/kilogram of weight.Inline image 2
5. Vitamins and minerals are necessary.
If you eat healthy, well-balanced meals, you and your kids will get most of the nutrients you need. You need to be sure your kids get plenty of calcium and iron when you know they’re going to be playing hard on the field or in the yard. 
 
Calcium makes for strong bones, and iron carries oxygen all over your body, especially during exercise.
 
6. Don’t let your kids crash diet.
The older a child gets, the more involved in sports they may get. Sadly, for many children the older they get they also become more concerned about their image. Crash dieting in any form, whether it is to move up a weight class or be small enough for any given sport, can severely damage a child’s body. 
 
For adults, crash dieting can kill your metabolism. Your best bet is to actively implement a healthy lifestyle, filled with clean eating and active living.
 
Below you’ll see a sample of what a day of food could look like:
 
Breakfast: Yogurt with granola and fruit OR whole grain cereal with milk and berries
Lunch: Bean burrito OR a turkey sandwich. Both could be served with a fruit and veggie item.
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, steamed rice or farro, and veggies. (Hint: try to eat the majority of your carbs before dinner.)
 
There are a ton of healthy food boards on Pinterest. Don’t be afraid to change your dinner repertoire every now and then. Ask your kids what healthy foods they do like. Take them grocery shopping with you. Finally, the best children’s nutrition tip I’ve ever heard came from a podcast that I listened to on Stitcher, let your kids choose only 1-3 foods that they “refuse” to eat and then respect that. Everything else they must eat. After all, studies show that a child doesn’t actually know that they truly don’t like a food until they’ve been exposed to it 15-20 times. Helping your kids be healthy can be a battle, but it is one that you can win. 
I hope this well helpful. I’m happy to ask further questions as you have them. 
 
Eat healthy, live actively. I know that as you do, your children will, too. 
Sincerely,
Evi
Images provided by Daniel Nicolas
_________________
Evi blogs over at Eyeliner & Erasers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on fashion, fitness, beauty, and professionalism. She writes for several companies, including Cycling Strong, a company that focuses on healthy lifestyles and especially cycling. She is a graduate student and an adjunct faculty member, who teaches freshman composition. Evi loves to go to Crossfit, adventure with her husband, and take long naps.
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