Kid Athletes Need to Eat Differently from Others

Is your athletic kid raiding the fridge again? Sometimes you have to wonder if "eating right" is even part of their sports vocabulary. New studies show kid athletes need to eat differently from others, Dr. Bruce Hensel Reported.

Mandi Fiddle Bergenfeld has a game plan to keep her athletic son interested in healthy food.

"So instead of saying to my son, 'Let's have chicken for dinner or steak for dinner, or broccoli for dinner,' I said, 'You know what, let's have a homerun dinner.'" Mandi Fiddle Bergenfeld said. 

Mandi's pitch is inspired by Sports Medicine Specialist Robert Gotlin's new playbook. 

"What's better for kids than to be on a 'baseball diet,' if you're a baseball player or like baseball? Or a basketball diet or lacrosse? Make the kid and the diet match," Gotlin said.

He wants kids, athletic or not, to eat a balanced diet. So that means loading the bases wtih lean meats, veggies, and different from sedentary diets; high in carbs before workouts

"We have to make sure they're having a mixture of carbohydrates, of proteins, of fats. We have to assure they're getting their fruits,"  Gotlin said. 

Kids can call the shots with menu options. So pop blueberries instead of strawberries, or pit pretzels against popcorn.

"And by giving them those choices, it's one of two good choices. This way they have a choice of picking a good food," Gotlin said. 

One choice kid athletes should avoid is excess protein from supplement shakes or bars.

"The fact is, any healthy diet, any healthy diet, provides enough protein for an active child, even playing sports. There's no need for extra protein," Gotlin said. 

That means Mandi's benching protein bars from Jake's diet.

"As long as he's having a well balanced, balanced meal, then he's getting all the protein that he needs," Mandi Bergenfeld said.

Dr. Bruce says many kid athletes eat too much protein.

"Too much protein can lead to kidney or heart problems. Diest should be balanced and emphasize powering-up with fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins" Hensel reported.



For general information on dietary needs of children in sports:

The american dietetic association, http://www.Eatright.Org

The president's council on sports and exercise, http://www.Fitness.Gov

For information about youth sports:

National alliance for youth sports, http://www.Nays.Org/

National council of youth sports, http://www.Ncys.Org/

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