So you have registered your children for swim lessons and find your kids acting differently on various weeks. The food they eat before lessons may be affecting them! Here are a few tips on what they should eat, foods to avoid, and things to nutrition ideas to consider:Foods to DEFINITELY avoid:
Sugar based treats, heavy dairy snacks, fast food options.
- Sugar based treats - While a Fruit Roll Up or gas station candy bar may be the easiest available option on the way to your child’s lesson, sugary treats create a burst of energy (which can become distracting for swimmer and instructor alike) and then a crash. Check the nutrition contents in bars and snacks (especially nutrition or activity bars) before your lesson to ensure you are not accidentally sending your child to a lesson while on a sugar rush.
- Milkshakes, cottage cheese, macaroni and cheese, and other heavy dairy snacks may seem innocuous. However, when ingested too close to lesson time, the dairy will sit heavy in your child’s stomach and be hard to digest. Your child might feel extremely full, nauseous, and reluctant to move much. Lighter snacks (like a cheese stick) may fair better.
- The most obvious of choices to avoid, yet often the easiest. Fried and highly processed, fast food options are unhealthy, but often seen coming through our doors because of how easy a drive thru may seem in the car on the way to a swim lesson. Fight the urge for a “quick stop” and pack healthy snacks the night before instead.
- Fruits and vegetables- Easy to snack on and they require little effort to digest
- Dry crackers and snacks- Goldfish, Triscuit and Ritz crackers with peanut butter. These snacks are easy to put in a ziplock back and create no sugary rush.
- Nuts and small prepackaged cheese sticks/bite
SafeSplash instructors are always working to make your children water safe. But, we also hope everyone will continue their swimming on a club team and swim for years to come. Almost all teams in the US will want their athletes to carry a water bottle to practice; why not get used to that idea from an early age? Encourage your child to bring a water bottle and hydrate throughout their lesson.
- Gatorade and Powerade are electrolyte replenishing drinks, but often come with a great deal of sugar. By using a portion of a bottle and diluting the drink with more water, it can become a great asset to your child’s lesson and physical exertions!
- A healthy post-lesson snack! Growing bodies experience the most muscle strengthening gains from nutrition taken in during the 45 minutes following physical activity. Have a healthy snack of fruits, veggies, some protein, and chocolate milk after a lesson to reinforce the importance of great nutrition paired with fun in the water!