Food for Young Athletes — And a No-Bake Recipe You’ll Like
As I was searching for something to do on my segment on KTUL Channel 8’s “Good Morning Oklahoma” last week, I came across a recipe that sounded good, healthy and FAST.
I’ll be honest, my mind was not on work, but on enjoying Christmas, shopping, hanging out with my kids and taking time off. But I tried these little gems and my two daughters and my husband loved them. I had to make an extra batch to put in my daughters’ piles of stuff to take back with them to Austin and Conway.
These are so easy, your kids can make them without help, depending on their ages. Very young children can measure, pour and roll them into balls. No cooking involved! I chose to use the no sugar, natural peanut butter and it worked fine. You could also experiment with other nut butters such as almond butter. The rice cereal adds a nice crispy touch. These pack well and would be great as a snack for your young athletes before they go to practice or to a game. Have them eat an apple with it, and they’ll be stoked for activity.
PEANUT BUTTER ENERGY BALLS
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup crisp rice cereal
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
- 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries, dried cherries or mini chocolate chips
If you haven’t seen the January issue yet, writer Jennifer Luitweiler interviewed Sloane Taylor, a local sports nutritionist, who provided some good tips on keeping young athletes fueled for practice and games. The article is on our website; however, some of Sloane’s tips include:
1. Eating enough healthy foods throughout the day. She said that a common mistake that young athletes make is not eating enough throughout the day — often a problem they can’t control at school, especially if they have an early lunch period. Kids become fatigued and less able to perform if they haven’t eaten in more than five hours.
2. Sloane recommends that kids get a healthy snack such as a carb and fruit two hours prior to practice.
3. Young athletes who eat enough during the day or who get a healthy snack prior to practice or working out are less apt to over-eat at dinner.
4. Drinking low-fat chocolate milk 30 minutes after practice provides protein, carbs and electrolytes. Sports drinks may provide hydration, but they don’t provide any nutrition.
For more information, be sure to read Jennifer’s Sports & Fitness, “Fueling Teen Athletes,” article in the January issue.