Halloween is tomorrow! And while everyone is stockpiling hordes of candy (and picking out their favorites for themselves) in anticipation of the witches, superheroes, princesses, ninjas and pumpkins that are sure to come knocking on their door, sports parents know that if their youth athlete has a game on Halloween they’ll need more than candy to get them through it! While a sugar rush might have your youth athlete running circles around everyone for the first twenty minutes of their game, without the right nutrition they’ll never make it past half-time.
Here are some great (and quick) food choices for Halloween game night:
- Bananas – a good source of potassium.
- Low or non-fat yogurt—all the protein and calcium with no extra fat.
- Hard boiled eggs—no time for a steak? Hard boiled eggs are a great way to get some quick protein!
- Whole grain bread—skip the white bread and go for complex carbohydrates that provide more energy and fiber. Add a little natural peanut butter for the right kind of fats.
But beware! It is Halloween after all so sports parents and athletes need to be careful and avoid the wrong kind of pre-game meals and snacks that are disguised as healthy options! Don’t get tricked by:
- Granola bars—many granola bars that kids actually like are packed full of sugar. Not all granola bars are bad but double check the ingredients (and the order!)
- Muffins—muffins (especially bran muffins) might seem like a great go-to snack or breakfast item, but they are usually loaded with unrefined flours and sugars.
- Pre-packaged turkey slices—turkey is usually a great lean protein choice, but pre-packaged turkey can be chock full of sodium.
- Fruit snacks—most “fruit” snacks actually contain very little fruit and are mostly sugar.
We at SportsSignup know that for busy sports families, especially those with multiple athletes in the house, finding the time between work, school and game-time to sit down for a well-balanced meal can get really tricky. The key to ensuring your athlete is getting the nutrition they need before practice or a game is to plan ahead. Know who has what on what day in the coming week and plan your meals accordingly. Pack extra snacks like carrots or apple slices so athletes that have to run from school to practice with no time for a site down meal won’t be starving on the field.
And it’s okay to treat your youth athlete (and yourself) to a few pieces of candy after the game! It’s Halloween, isn’t it!?