We could get really complicated and list out all the technical and scientific reasoning to how your child should eat like an athlete. Sure there are is protein, carbs, fats, and they need their vitamins, but the big point we need to realize is processed foods are not healthy, and should not be eaten by young athletes, or most people for that matter.
What are Processed Foods?
Processed foods are essentially foods that have been stripped of natural nutrition and had a plethora of additives put back in. Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, either for safety reasons or for convenience. The methods used include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing.
Convenience food, or tertiary processed food, is commercially prepared food designed for ease of consumption.Products designated as convenience food are often prepared food stuffs that can be sold as hot, ready-to-eat dishes; as room-temperature, shelf-stable products; or as refrigerated or frozen products that require minimal preparation (typically just heating).
Example of What Athletes Should Not Eat:
Natural sources of fiber (i.e. bran) are taken from wheat during the processing associated with making bread and replaced with artificial colors, synthetic vitamins and chemical additives to ensure freshness.
List of Processed Foods Athletes Should Avoid:
- Canned foods with large amounts of sodium or fat.
- Pasta meals made with refined white flour instead of whole grains.
- Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies.
- Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium.
- Packaged cakes and cookies.
- Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium.
- Sugary breakfast cereals.
- Processed meats.
Our “Diet” Suggestion to Eat Like An Athlete
Are you a mom, dad, or athlete who known’s they should be eating healthier, but just don’t know what it looks like to eat Healthy, or what specifically you should be eating? Don’t worry; everyone starts out like this, and even the pros have to learn to adjust their nutrition plans in order to improve their sports performance. Your not alone, and there are tons of people who are having a hard time just like you.
One nutrition plan or “diet” we suggest to athletes is the Paleo Diet. Yes, the good ole caveman diet. The Paleo diet is rested on these simple principles: Base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That’s about as simple as we can get.
Grocery Shopping Tip for Eating Like An Athlete:
Keep your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
Hopefully this blog has helped answer some of your questions. If you have more questions about this topic please put it in the comments section. We will gladly answer.
Thanks for reading!