Playing football is all about dedication, hard work and gaining an edge on your opponent. Here are 5 “A”-list optimal foods that will help propel your youth football athlete on the football field. These foods also help with our mission to stomp out childhood obesity. The next time you’re in a supermarket, remember to pick up these 5 “A’s”.
Arugula. Also known as the rocket salad, arugula is packed with vitamins and nutrients including vitamins A, C, B6 and vitamin K (which has been associated with a reduced incidence of fractures of the bones). You can cook it or have it raw, I prefer stuffing fresh arugula into a hearty sandwich. The taste is great- mild and peppery.
Avocados. This fruit is a nutritional powerhouse. According to avocado.org, there are 13 vitamins found in avocados that the body absolutely needs while the good fats in this are important for athletes as they provide a concentrated source of energy for the body. I eat about one a day in some way shape or form. The texture allows for so many creative uses- smash it up and spread it on something.
All natural peanut butter. Sports nutritionist Dr. Nancy Clark calls peanut butter “perhaps the best sports food around”. We concur. Peanut butter has protein,”good” fats and contains nutrients associated with lowering the risk of heart disease. Assuming no nut allergies, this is a food that your child needs to eat. Spread all natural peanut butter on a slice of whole wheat bread and add fresh fruit that is in season- delicious. Remember the rule of thumb, don’t buy a jar of peanut butter if it has more than one ingredient.
Apples. Want a quick natural energy boost? Apples provide just what you’re looking for with about 20 grams of complex carbohydrates per apple. Vitamins B-6, C and others combine to give you a fruit that is nutritionally exceptional. I blend/juice an apple, with skin, about 3 times a week, a staple in my diet.
Almonds. Kids need to learn plays and be alert on the football field. Almonds are good for the brain and have long been considered as an essential food item for growing children. There’s also a natural boost that comes from manganese, copper and riboflavin.
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