With more kids on the move than ever before thanks to Michelle Obama's campaign for childhood fitness and greater public awareness, new nutrition questions are emerging. What to feed your kids after tough workouts to keep them strong? One mother asked Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist writing for CNN, about whether her daughter should drink protein shakes. In particular, the mother was wondering whether her own special protein shake recipe (skim milk, fat free vanilla yogurt, and vanilla flavored natural whey protein powder) was appropriate for her 8-year-old daughter, who wanted a recovery drink like her mom's after training for a 5k. Dr. Jampolis recommended giving the daughter a shake with a carbohydrate to protein ration of 4:1 following longer workouts. To adjust mom's recipe, Dr. Jampolis suggested adding half a banana instead of whey protein.
Young athletes need lots of calcium for healthy bones and protein for muscular strength. Iron is also important for these kids-lean red meat, spinach, and fortified grains help deliver iron to the body, and eating vitamin-C heavy foods is key for absorbing the iron. Dr. Jampolis also pointed out that hydration is especially critical for kids doing sports, since they often do not listen to their bodies intuitively to regulate their fluid intake.