Working with the young athlete is more complex as you’re not only looking at supporting an increased energy expenditure for their sport, but it’s also essential to support growth and health. Providing the right nutrition and hydration plan is essential for optimal health, energy and performance.
It’s important to be able to communicate effectively with kids and young athletes as it’s completely different from working with an adult. Knowing how to motivate and educate them is key to having them be successful.
I look at food preferences and their lifestyle and come up with an individualized program with practical and sustainable guidelines. It’s also important that it fits in with what the rest of the family is eating as I don’t want the family to have the strain of making separate meals.
I develop Individualized Nutrition Plans looking at:
- Calorie needs
- Assessed requirements for protein, carbs and fat
- Specific needs for vitamins and minerals, preferably from food
- Specialized areas to include vegetarian, vegan and gluten free nutrition plans.
- Fluid and electrolytes
- Nutrition for muscle recovery
- Nutrition for Energy
- Nutrition for Injury Prevention
- Preworkout Meals
- Recovery Nutrition
Some of the youth sports I work with include:
- Youth ice hockey
- Field hockey
- Tennis nutrition for the tennis student-athlete
- Ice dancing and ballet
To ensure that the athlete is getting adequate calories and nutrients, we need to look at:
- the sport involved and the intensity of the training
- How often is the training and what are the conditions?
- Caloric expenditure
- Food purchase and preparation
- Need for reduction of bodyfat or increase in lean body mass
It‘s important to provide adequate energy and nutrients that emphasize carbohydrates and that meet the youth athletes need for protein and healthy fats. Variety, balance and moderation must be taken into account. Programs are individualized based on each youth athlete’s unique requirements.