I know that breakfast is important but it's really hard to get my teen to eat breakfast. Any ideas?
It's very important to start the day with breakfast. Choosing from at least three of the Food Guide Pyramid's five food groups forms a healthy, nutritious breakfast. Eating breakfast helps provide increased strength and endurance, and enables better concentration and problem-solving ability.
Here are some quick-grab, breakfast-on-the-run ideas:
A carton of yogurt and bagel spread with peanut butter
Grapes, crackers and cheese
Cereal topped with sliced banana and yogurt
Bran muffin and yogurt topped with berries
Peanut butter on whole wheat toast and milk
Pizza slice and orange juice
English muffin topped with ham and cheese
Hard cooked egg, toast and juice
Tortilla, peanut butter and banana rolled up
Breakfast bar, apple and milk.
Last week your column focused on the nutritional needs for the adolescent. How should a teen-age athlete's diet differ from a non-athlete's diet?
The main differences between an athlete's diet and a non-athlete's diet are that athletes need more fluids and calories. Athletes should still follow the Food Guide Pyramid and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Some athletes need a bigger quantity, though, because of their need for more energy, or calories.
A well-balanced diet with a variety of foods every day is recommended. Regular meals and snacks throughout the day are recommended for best performance and well-being. Also during competition, athletes should avoid foods and beverages that are out of the ordinary. Instead, they should choose familiar items in quantities that have been eaten during training.
Dehydration decreases muscle strength, endurance and coordination and increases risk of cramps and heat stroke. Athletes may not feel thirsty enough to drink replacement fluids. If athletes get used to drinking fluids at regular intervals during training sessions, they will be comfortable drinking the same amount and type of fluids during competition.
What type of fluid and how much is recommended?
K-State Research and Extension human nutrition specialists recommend: 14 ounces to 22 ounces of fluid about two hours before endurance exertion; 6 ounces to 12 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes to 20 minutes, beginning at the start of exercise; and plenty of fluids to replace losses afterward, about 16 ounces to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound body weight lost during exercise.
Cool water makes a good fluid replacement. Avoid beverages with caffeine. If exercising for more than one hour, or during very hot and humid weather, a sports beverage may be preferable, to provide small amounts of sugar, sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium the body loses.