What to feed my kid before exercise and after - A sports nutritionist speaks!

  • Fitterfly - Team Nutrition

  • Posted On November 20, 2017

 As a parent, there is always confusion about meals on the day your child is supposed to go for sports. “What to feed my kid before exercise and after exercise?” would be foremost on your mind, after “is my child safe?” As a sports nutritionist, I can assure you that choosing the right foods can surely enhance training and performance in your child and make sure that they aren’t completely drained by the time they’re back home from the playground.

Sports training for children are usually held on alternate days in a week for an average duration of 1 to 2 hours, the right foods can help to prevent tiredness during training and ensure quicker recovery for the next day’s session. Therefore, an ideal pre-training and post-training meal is the key to ample energy to perform, ideal body fat percentage, faster recovery and better immunity.

There is plenty of information on nutritional requirements of adult athletes available everywhere. But these macros don’t work for kids. Your personal mantra should be “understanding my child’s constitution and their basic requirement is essential to know what to feed my kid before exercise and after he/she is done with activities for the day”. This basic requirement depends not just on the age and gender but also on the intensity of training of the sport.

What to feed my kid before exercise and after exercise:

BEFORE - An ideal pre-training meal should consist of:

  • High Carbohydrates with low glycemic index foods taken around 2-3 hours before the training can provide your child’s body a slow releasing source of energy. This enables the body to work out for a longer period of time.
    Examples: vegetable stuffed paratha,dalia upma with vegetables, oats porridge,quinoa porridge.
  • Moderate Protein intake 2-3 hours prior to training helps by providing your child’s body with amino acids (branched chain amino acids in particular) that is needed to prevent muscle breakdown while aiding muscle recovery and growth. Example: cow milk, moong salad, mix sprout salad.
  • Prefer low fat foods over foods with high fat content. Fatty foods can make a child sluggish and heavy because these get digested very slowly in the body. Examples: cow milk, curd, handful of nuts.
  • Low fibre foods are highly recommended as it can help prevent bloating, diarrhoea and stomach discomfort during the training.
    Example: cow milk, handful of nuts

Ideal yummy and healthy pre-training snack options (2 to 3 hrs before training)- 

Snack Options Quantity
 Fruit  2 small/1 medium fruit
 Chikki  5-6 medium piece
 Rajgeera laddoo  3 medium ladoo
 Chapati-Jaggery roll  2 roll
 Chapati-Leafy Veg Roll  1-2 roll
 Mixture of Dry Fruits and Nuts  1 handful
 Multigrain Bread Toasts  2-3 toasts
 Thalipeeth  1-2

 

  Weekly Meal Plan:

Days Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Snack options Fruit Chapati-Jaggery roll Thalipeeth Mixture of Dry Fruits and Nuts Multigrain Bread Toasts Chapati-Leafy Veg Roll Rajgeera laddoo

 

After a strenuous session, children reach out for all the wrong foods as hunger pangs can be unbearable. This should be avoided. Staying hydrated is of utmost importance. Read on to understand healthier choices of post-training meal options.

AFTER - An ideal post-training meal should consist of:

  • Simple carbohydrates with high glycemic index foods taken within 30 mins after training can provide your child’s body with fast acting glucose as fuel to combat glycogen depletion.
    Example: lemonade juice, glucon-d, fruits.
  • Fast absorbing protein for muscle growth, development & preventing fatigue, soreness and injury.
    Example: Whey protein, paneer, soya bean, egg.

Ideal yummy and healthy post-training snack options (within 30 minutes)-

Snack Options Quantity
Egg Sandwich 1 medium
Chapatti and egg bhurji roll/ misal/usal 1 roll
1 vati misal/usal
Fruit and boiled egg 2 small/1 medium fruit
1 boiled egg
Fruits and boiled sprouts 2 small/1 medium fruit
1 small vati sprouts
Fruits and roasted chanas 2 small/1 medium fruit
Handful of roasted chanas
Sugarcane Juice and Boiled Eggs 200 ml juice
1-2 boiled egg
Moong Dal Chillas and Fruits 2 small/1 medium chilla
2 small/1 medium fruit
Fruit juice and bread Omelette /mix sprout salad 200 ml thick juice without sugar
1 bread omlet
1 vati mix sprout

Weekly Meal Plan

Days Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Snack options Egg Sandwich Chapatti and egg bhurji roll/ misal/usal Fruits and boiled sprouts Fruits and boiled egg Sugarcane Juice and Boiled Eggs Moong Dal Chillas and Fruits Fruit juice and bread Omelette /mix sprout salad

 

Every child is different, so make sure that as a parent you experiment enough to figure out a suitable choice keeping in mind the basic guidelines and the mantra “understanding my child’s constitution and their basic requirement is essential to know what to feed my kid before exercise and after he/she is done with activities for the day”.

Get your child to practice these options in their everyday training to attain improved strength, concentration, stamina, recovery and prevent fatigue and injuries.

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Disclaimer: All information here, including text, images, tables, videos and any other content is for your knowledge only and we do not guarantee any specific result by following these recommendations as it may vary from person to person. The information is not a substitute for qualified medical advice from a doctor or other medical health expert.