We realize that weekday mornings are hectic. Getting everyone up and out the door on time is challenging enough, but we must also find enough time to squeeze in a well-balanced breakfast. Here are just a few reasons why a well-balanced breakfast is essential for providing your teen with a Competitive Edge!
Food Is Fuel
Food is something we all enjoy, but it is also the fuel your active teenager requires to maintain their energy and stamina. Also, food helps to provide their growing bodies with the nutrients required to keep up with their growth spurts. With the average 10 to 12-hour gap between dinner and your morning meal, our bodies wake up craving fluids and nutrients.
Jen Ochi of the Cleveland Clinic suggests that teenage athletes consume between 500 and 750 calories at breakfast. The dietary balance should be 50% carbs, 30% protein, and 20% fat.
Let’s face it, there simply may not be enough time to cook a well-balanced breakfast for you and your family every day—but you have plenty of easy and on-the-go breakfast options to choose from. Start off with 8 to 16 ounces of hydrating water after waking up, and mix and match the options below to achieve the appropriate caloric and nutrient intake.
- An unsweetened, unsalted mixture of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds
- Whole grain toast or bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Hard boiled eggs
- Glass of milk
- String cheese
- Fresh fruit—oranges, apple slices, berries, and bananas are fast and easy
- Fresh or premade fruit and veggie smoothie with added protein powder
- Steel cut oats
- Low-sugar granola or granola bar
- Low-sugar breakfast bars
- Premade or frozen breakfast sandwich—yes, you can find some healthy ones to choose from
What To Limit In The Morning
Even if your teen doesn’t mind the breakfast options above, their preference may be to enjoy one of the many empty calorie/low-nutrient breakfasts foods marketed to this age group. This includes white bread, sugar-filled cereals, toaster treats, pastries, and nutrient-low breakfast bars. Don’t underestimate the importance of some morning indulgence; however, make sure these morning options are a small portion of their breakfast.
At Competitive Edge, our goal is to provide athletes with the training, tips, and tools needed to improve speed, strength, stamina, and flexibility. The role that their daily diet plays in supporting these goals can’t be underestimated. Even if your teen doesn’t feel hungry first thing in the morning, pack a baggie with a mixture of the foods above for them to eat on their way to school.