It’s mid-season and winter athletes—along with their families—are putting in long hours on courts, mats, rinks and bleachers, leaving little time to cook. Before you know it, athletes can end up short on nutrition, which can have crushing consequences.
High-profile winter athletes suffering compound bone fractures, such as Julius Randle, Paul George and Kevin Ware, leave you wondering, ‘What can we do to prevent injuries like these in our kids?’ As a Registered Dietitian and ‘wrestling mom,’ I say the key to winning the nutrition game is a simple strategy.
In sports, every player counts. It’s the same with nutrition. Your athlete needs all the players to get the nutritional win. Here’s the roster:
- Whole grains, fruits and veggies for quick energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals to sustain energy
- Lean protein for muscle repair and growth
- Real dairy for calcium and vitamin D to protect growing bones
Expert health research backs the notion that kids need real dairy, not dairy alternatives, to optimize bone health.
When you’re spending more time in the driver’s seat and bleachers than the kitchen, look to soup for the win. Here are three reasons that soup is your winter sports MVP (most-valuable player):
- You’ll cover all your nutritional bases in one pot or slow cooker. Choose recipes that contain veggies, lean proteins, dairy and whole grains. You can always add a side or adjust the recipe to cover what’s missing.
- Soup tastes better the next day. Make soup ahead, on Sunday for instance, so you’re free to cheer your heart out and steer clear of the drive-thru on your way home to a hot dinner.
- Win or lose, soup is comfort food. You’ll feel great knowing you did your best.
This Southwestern Cheese and Corn Chowder is one of our family faves. Let us know how you like it!
Click here for more ways to win with soup this season!
Mickela Mitchell, MS, RDN, LDN