Fuelling your young athletes properly for a hockey game doesn’t just happen on game day. Eating well takes planning and follow through to make sure you’re giving them what they need to succeed. This doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Having smart snacks and foods on hand can make your hockey schedule a lot easier. With a properly stocked pantry and fridge, athletes can take ownership of their nutrition and make their own pre- and post game meals or snacks.
Overall, the game plan for nutrition should be to eat real, whole foods as much as possible. Try to stay away from fast food and packaged, processed products.
Big meals should be eaten 3-4 hours before a game or practice. If that’s not possible, a smaller snack a couple of hours beforehand-and then an easily digested, carbohydrate focused snack (like a banana) about an hour before.
Here are some of my favourite tips and tricks to make optimal nutrition easy for busy hockey families:
- Hard boil a dozen eggs every weekend for quick and easy snacks or additions to salads.
- Keep raw or roasted nuts in the car or on the counter for quick grab and go snacks.
- Roasting a Chicken? Double it! Once cool, shred the chicken and keep in the fridge for wraps or pasta dishes.
- Cook whole grain pasta in advance and keep in a sealed container in the fridge for pasta salad or warm up for a quick dinner.
- Cook extra rice, quinoa, or steel cut oats for easy side dishes, quinoa bowls, or breakfasts.
- Baking? Make an extra batch of muffins to keep in the freezer for quick snacks between school and practice.
- Have bags of frozen fruit in the freezer for delicious and fast pregame smoothies.
- Buy extra bananas and once they ripen, peel and freeze for smoothies or muffins.
- No time? Buy a pre-cut fruit tray every week for extra convenience.
- Use Hockey Snacks to deliver fresh fruit to your team weekly!
- Wash and chop veggies such as carrots, celery, and broccoli and keep them accessible in the fridge.
- Baby spinach is a quick and easy option to blend into smoothies-and you can’t taste it. Promise.
- Roast a big batch of vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, squash, or cauliflower and keep on hand for side dishes, or blend with broth into a quick soup for dinner!
- Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse. Keep them on the counter until ripe and then put in the fridge to slow down the ripening process. Use on sandwiches, wraps, bowls, with eggs, or in smoothies.
- Nut butters are an incredibly fast way to get protein and healthy fats. Peanut butter sandwich anyone?
- Seeds such as hemp, flax, and chia are excellent sources of healthy fats and can be blended into smoothies, or sprinkled on pretty much anything!
Keep items on hand to encourage constant hydration. Lemons, limes, and oranges, cut up and ready to squeeze into water can be a game changer.
Have questions? Get in touch with Seanna at email@example.com.