Is Your Child's Breakfast Stunting Their Performance?
Breakfast. We've all heard it's the most important meal of the day. Athletes in particular need to ensure their pre-game meal is providing the right amount of energy. It can determine how long they play for, their focus on the pitch and reaction time to the ball.
Is your child eating the wrong type of breakfast?
Think about the effect a bowl of cereal can have on your body - it provides a lot of energy right away, then the inevitable CRASH hits hard and fast. By the time they get to the field, their energy is likely already spent! This doesn't apply to only sweet cereal. Most cereal doesn't have enough fibre to provide slow-burning energy. Pair that with the natural sugars from milk and you have a recipe for an energy crash. By the time they've played a whole game, their energy is completely depleted.
The most important element to a pre-game meal are slowburning complex carbohydrates. Paired with healthy protein and fats, this provides the athlete with enough energy stores to burn over a longer period of time. Steel cut oats make an ideal breakfast before a game. The whole grain, minimally processed cereal is a great slow burning complex carb that is easily customizable to your child's tastes. This recipe tastes of rich chocolate and banana with crunchy nuts. Chocolate Banana Steel-Cut Oats
1 cup steel-cut oats
½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1¼ cups non-dairy unsweetened milk
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon authentic maple syrup
1/2 ripe banana
1 tsp cocoa powder
1. Combine oats, yogurt, salt, and 1¼ cups nut milk in a resealable plastic quart container.
2. Add bananas and cocoa powder and stir to combine. Cover and chill overnight.
3. In the morning pour mixture into a saucepan over medium heat. Add extra milk to loosed and gently heat
for 15minutes, stirring frequently until oats are softened.
Do Ahead: Oats can be assembled 4 days ahead.
At the end of a game - when energy levels are crucial - your athletes will have the endurance to battle the faltering competition, giving your team the competitive edge to win games!
NICOLE DI NARDO | nutritionist