Three Great Recovery Foods for Kids

Lacrosse, basketball, hockey, football, soccer, monkey bars, sandbox, jungle gyms: it doesn’t matter what or where, kids are always on the move!

What do you do when they’re finally tired out and running low on energy? Proper post-workout nutrition is crucial for kids’ physical development and recovery. You wouldn’t put regular fuel in a Ferrari, and you can’t expect a growing body to develop well with poor nutrition. A good recovery meal refuels the body, accelerates recovery and optimizes muscle gains with quality nutrients, protein and carbohydrates

If you want your child to quickly recover to his or her best ability, here are three superfoods that will jump start the recovery process.

Chocolate Milk

There’s no food that’s seen its reputation improve more in recent years than chocolate milk. Once considered milk’s cool brother, chocolate milk has become the go-to post-workout meal for a ton of athletes because of its 4:1 carbohydrates:protein ratio. It’s also incredibly high in vitamins, and it’s ideal to drink it between 30 and 45 minutes after the workout or game.

“Milk alone may not be enough carbs or calories, but it can be enhanced to be adequate,” nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield told the Washington Post. Adding chocolate powder or syrup to make chocolate milk adds carbs and calories to optimize the totals and jumpstart recovery.

Oranges

There’s a reason why oranges have been the favorite of soccer halftimes since, well, pretty much the existence of soccer. Oranges bring a quick jolt of energy with their natural sugar, but they’ll also give Vitamin C and hydration boosts. They’re also an excellent source of potassium, which means that they’re a good mid-workout snack, too.

Bananas

If oranges aren’t your thing, bananas offer many of the same benefits, and kids can spruce them up by adding peanut butter, fruit butter or a protein. Fruit butters are made by cooking whole or halved fruit until tender before forcing it through a sieve or foodmill. Sugar, spices and lemon juice are added, and the fruit butter term derives from its spreadability.

As a high-glycemic food, they’re an instant energy boost with plenty of potassium and will help kids quickly recover. Another plus? One banana gives kids about 12 percent of the daily magnesium that they need. Magnesium loss can cause cramps, weakness and muscle twitching.

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