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Tips to get Your Athlete to Eat their Calories, Instead of Drinking Them

Teens and tweens are always into the latest hip thing. For these athletes, that often means being in the know about the latest supplements and protein powders. That is probably why I see a lot of kids drinking their calories in the form of shakes and smoothies, rather than eating them.

Some studies report that our bodies don't register calories taken in through drinking the same way as those taken in eating traditional food, which can potentially cause teens and tweens to overeat, or miss out on important nutrients that you just can't get from a liquid diet. Here are some tips to get teens to eat instead of gulping those calories down.

Give Them What They Like

Instead of focusing on what you'd like your athlete to eat, focus on foods they already like that are calorically dense and give them all the macro and micronutrients they need.

Making food fun and attractive encourages kids to eat what they actually need to build muscle -- not only to get stronger, but also to maintain their strength through eating habits that will stick with them throughout adulthood. The habits picked up in the tween and teenage years can build a foundation for a healthy life.

Talk About Food Choices

Don't discount how much young athletes really do consider the input of trusted adults. Talk to kids about food choices, and what types of fuel they really need in order to make real gains and succeed as an athlete. Tell your coach what your food goals are for your athlete, ask him or her to reinforce those goals. Make sure your athlete knows that a protein shake isn't a true supplement for a healthy diet made up of whole grains, fresh vegetables and lean meats for building muscles.

Cook Together

Make the food game a family affair and you may see your teens and tweens becoming more interested in eating. You can start by showing them how to prepare their favorite foods. By cooking together, you'll be teaching them important skills for staying athletic and strong through college and beyond. You will also be creating amazing memories while developing healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

Melissa Pranzo is the Founder of SwingFitt™ and Swing4All.org. She is a licensed RMT trainer, SwingFitt trainer, a life-long elite athlete, and lover of life and sports. Melissa and her son, Cooper, live in Tampa where SwingFitt™ and Swing4All.org are based.

Sources:

http://wildoats.com/blog-posts/eating-versus-drinking-calories-whats-difference/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/413268-importance-of-healthy-eating-for-teens/

#athletes #healthylifestyle #protein #healthydiet

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