Most parents try their best to get their little hockey players to follow a fairly healthy diet during the playing season. After all, it’s so important for athletes to have good, balanced nutrition that is going to provide them with the stamina and energy they need to be successful on the ice. All of that healthy eating can be a challenge, however, which is why many people take a break from healthy foods...in favor of lots of junk...during the off-season. While it’s certainly okay to indulge a little here and there, it is not okay to completely neglect healthy choices. Doing so can cause setbacks and get young players out of their healthy eating mindsets.
In fact, the off-season is the perfect time to evaluate your player’s diet from the last season. Did your player gain fat or build muscle? Did your player complain of cramps or low energy? What are some foods or drinks your player needs to cut back on in the upcoming season? Thinking and talking about these things and how they relate to overall diet and physical fitness and perhaps even visiting a sports nutritionist for advice can be very helpful and can make for an even better diet next season.
While you’re busy helping your athlete to set goals and prepare for the next season, eating healthy foods is still important. Aim for vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains served up in healthy but delicious ways. The off-season is a great time to get creative and find and try some new recipes.
Also, while you’re at it, make sure your child is staying active. If he’s not quite as active as he was during the playing season, that’s okay. Adjust calories based on physical activity but do encourage some kind of physicality daily. After workouts or physical play, always replenish your little one with a healthy energy booster like a sports drink, a piece of fruit, a cup of yogurt, or even a protein drink. Healthy snacks after exercise and throughout the day as needed will stave off hunger pangs which can lead to mindless snacking on junk foods.
As you can see, the off-season isn’t an excuse to let all healthy eating habits go out the window. It’s a time of preparation and planning but still a time of nutrition and instilling good habits.