Nutrition: Suggested Guidelines

Pre & Post Game Snacks

Posted May 21, 2010

By Dr. Christine Wood MD. Pediatrician

Pre-game food
Complex carbohydrates 1 to 4 hours before an athletic event is ideal. These foods are broken down quickly and provide glucose to the muscles. Your child can eat a larger meal if it is 4 hours before the exercise and offer a smaller meal if it is only 1 hour before the exercise. Choose foods that they are used to eating. Complex carbohydrate suggestions: low-sugar cereal, oatmeal, pasta, rice, sweet potato, and whole grain bread, bagel or muffin.

Post Game Snacks
Eating after a sporting event with snack foods is a common event. Let’s look at the problem of snacks provided after team games by the parents. Many of us are familiar with that obligation of being assigned to bring snacks for the kids after the soccer game or baseball game. A problem that I see is that here we have supported and encouraged physical activity for our children and then we offer unhealthy food choices like doughnuts or cookies after the event. If the parents of the team can agree ahead of time that healthier choices are what the team would like, we could teach our kids that we support their sports and support their bodies with healthier food choices.

Some suggestions for healthier sporting snacks:
Instead of…
1- Chips
2- Sugary juices, soda
3- Fruit roll-ups
4- Doughnuts
5- Cookies

Try these….
1- Pretzels, Kashi TLC Granola Bars, sunflower seeds
2- Water (bring some lemon, lime or orange slices to add to the water) 100% fruit juice
3- Fresh fruit: slices of oranges, watermelon, apples; dried fruit; frozen grapes; Lara Bars (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Lemon Bar)
4- Bagels with low-fat cream cheese or peanut or almond butter
5- Fig Newmans, oatmeal raisin cookies

Ideal snacks should have:
Less than 250 calories or less per package
No more than 35% of calories from fat with the exception of nuts and seeds
No more than 10% of calories from fat
No trans fats
No more than 35% of the total weight from sugar or caloric sweeteners with the exception of fruits and vegetables
Not more than 360 mg of sodium per package

Christine Wood, M.D. is a pediatrician and internationally recognized speaker on children’s nutritional issues. She is the author of How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It! (Griffin Publishing Group, 2002). Kids Weigh to Go is her program targeting families with overweight children. Dr. Wood is a widely sought-after speaker for parent groups and health professionals addressing the topics of nutritional medicine, childhood obesity, and the environmental toxin issues that children face today.

Her medical training was completed at the University of Michigan and then entered pediatric training and was chief pediatric resident at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Dr. Wood is also a certified lactation educator. USANA, an international nutritional company, selected her in 1997 to serve on their Medical Advisory Board and she currently serves as Chairperson of their board. Dr. Wood has been a guest writer for Newsweek and has been featured in Redbook, Fit Pregnancy, Family Life, Great Life, Natural Health magazines and others. As a guest on a myriad of radio shows and a panelist on television programming, she continues to deliver her message on creating healthy habits for our children. Be sure to check out her exciting, content-filled web sites: Call Your Pediatrician and Kids Eat Great.

Right Column Ad1
Right Column Ad2
Right Column Ad3