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Playing sports is such a big part of a child’s life, enjoying organized sports activities, preparing for the big games, cheering for your child, celebrating their accomplishments, these are all amazing experiences the whole family gets to enjoy when it comes to sports. And as a mother, we usually focus on one thing: is my child healthy and getting everything they need to grow?
Sports can be extremely demanding on growing children’s bodies! Therefore feeding them to develop and boost their immune system is key to avoid injury and keep them healthy. We talked about several foods to include and some to avoid for your young athletes on our show, link below. And I also promised to share a recipe for homemade Gatorade. First I want to clarify: Gatorade or any sports drinks should only be used when your child is practicing strenuous exercise in which he or she is sweating and usually in the sun. They are not meant to be used as a thirst quencher or habitual drinks. They are filled with sugar and electrolytes that do not need to be replaced unless they are actually running low in our bodies, which usually only happens during prolonged exercise. The problem I have with the store bought electrolyte replacement drinks is that they come with artificial food colorings, sweeteners and some artificial stabilizers which are all potentially harmful to your child (and adults too!) health.
The best natural electrolyte replacement drink is plain coconut water! It has all those electrolytes that the store bought drinks have but nothing artificial added. It should be your number one choice. If you don’t have some at hand and would like to make a sports drink at home, I have this quick and easy one that you can use as well:
In 8oz of ice cold water mix in 1 squeezed lemon, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp baking soda and 1 tsp maple syrup.
It’s a simple one to make, but I have to say I still prefer the coconut water taste.
Get all the details and tips for feeding your athletes here on our podcast: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/betterfoodchoices/2014/03/12/how-to-fuel-your-child-athlete-for-success-tips-and-more
And don't forget to visit our Fuel Your Dreams page for recipes that link up each body part you need to fuel specific to your own child's dreams!
… for the health of your family,