For adolescents competing in sport, a well balanced and varied diet is hugely important. It is even more important to try to ensure you’re child or teenager is getting all the adequate minerals and vitamins they need.
As parents and adults, it is important that we are setting a good example. As parents, try to encourage eating family meals together as often as possible and involve your child in meal choices and preparation of foods. Parents are responsible for what, when and where Children or teenagers eat. Actively make healthy meals and set a great example.
However, it is important that you don’t force certain foods on them. The more you pressure your child to eat a certain food the less likely that they are going to eat it. But the more that you restrict foods, the more likely that you’re child will want to eat that food.
In terms of general diet, actively encourage the eating of fruit and vegetables as snacks not just at mealtimes and try to increase the fibre intake of your child’s diet. Try to decrease the use of butter and when cooking family meals, try to bake or boil as often as possible instead of frying.
When it comes to competing or practices or training, the amount of Carbs, protein, fats etc that your child needs to eat Is no different. As long as you run child’s eating is healthy and well balanced, do not comment on your child’s eating habits and put any unwanted pressure in them. Eating a lot is fine, it is the quality of the quantity that matters.
Finally, a few weeks back I recorded a short vlog for a fellow athlete and school teacher highlighting the importance of healthy packed lunches and how a lot of parents are so uneducated on healthy diets. As a parent, try to actively encourage the consuming of healthy packed lunches during school time etc. Encouraging a healthy diet is important for all children, not just those who are competing in sports or have ambitions to take it seriously when they are older. Diet and nutrition is more important than anything else.