All kids should be eating healthily, but this especially applies to young hockey players. These kids are athletes, which means they work their little bodies hard and need the right fuel to keep them going and healthy. That means that parents should ditch the fast food and the easy, ready-made meals in favor of healthier fare.
While eating healthily can seem difficult, especially if you lead the busy lifestyle of the typical “hockey family,” it’s definitely worthwhile. Making nutritious meals for the whole family can be a way to get everybody healthy, including parents and siblings of the family athlete. Plus, if you prep and eat meals together, it’s a great way to bond and to stay in the loop with what’s going on with your kid.
Committing to healthier eating doesn’t have to mean doing anything drastic either. No you, your family, and the athlete in your life can get the benefits of healthy eating just by making a few simple changes.
Keep Junk Food Out of the House
To start with, make an effort to keep junk food, like chips and candy, out of the house. You’ll be surprised at just how true the old adage, “out of sight, out of mind” is. If you have junk foods easily accessible in the home, your kids (and you!) are likely to reach for those foods first.
If you stock your fridge with fruits, veggies, and healthy snacks and meals, however, that is what you’re more likely to reach for and to eat. So, as a family, do a “junk food sweep,” collecting junk food from around the home and getting rid of it. Then, make a pledge not to bring any unhealthy foods into the home.
That doesn’t mean you can never have a treat, but it does mean that you should reserve such foods for special occasions and make healthier options your main “go to” foods.
Add Fruits and Vegetables to Every Meal
Another easy way to eat healthier is to make sure that every meal contains at least one serving of fruit and another of vegetables. This is easier than you might think too.
At breakfast, pair your eggs with a few sliced tomatoes and some diced onions. At lunch, enjoy a sandwich topped with avocado and a side of carrot sticks. For dinner, have some broiled chicken with broccoli on the side and fresh strawberries for dessert.
The possibilities are really endless, and when you fill your diet with healthy, low calorie fruits and vegetables, everyone is bound to start feeling better, and healthy eating will become second nature before you know it.
Play Up the Benefits
Finally, remember that your kids are smart enough to understand the benefits of a healthy diet. If they grumble or complain about what you’re serving, tell them plainly and honestly about the benefits of a healthy diet.
Make sure your young athlete knows that it will make him more powerful on the ice, and that alone should be enough to get him eating his veggies.
Remember, healthy eating isn’t hard; it’s just a matter of getting everyone in the family onboard and committing as a family unit to a more nutritious diet and a healthier lifestyle.