Fuelling the Young Athlete

June 28th, 2012

I’m heading back to the CTV studio to talk to the Edmonton Morning Live crew about what it takes to fuel young athletes. Good nutrition is important for everyone, but what will give the athlete in you an edge? Tune in Friday, June 29th to find out.

Here are a few resources and recipes I plan to highlight.


“Fuelling the Young Athlete” (Factsheet)

Taking part in recreational or competitive sports at a young age helps develop skills, confidence, good health, and fitness. The child and teen years are also important times for growth and development. So how do young athletes get enough fuel and nutrients for their sport and growth needs? A healthy meal plan for a young athlete should include:

  • Enough food energy (i.e. Calories) for exercise and growth
  • Lots of carbohydrate choices, such as grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, milk and yogurt. Carbohydrate is the main fuel source for all sports
  • Enough protein for growth and to build and repair body tissues. Protein comes from: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk products, legumes, nuts, nut butters and seeds
  • Moderate to low-fat choices so Calories are available from carbohydrates and lean proteins
  • Enough fluid for the body’s needs and to prevent overheating
  • Variety to provide all vitamins and minerals
  • Frequent meals and snacks to make sure they get enough energy

To review the entire “Fuelling the Young Athlete” fact sheet, by Dietitians of Canada, click here. And, to check out two unique sport nutrition case studies, click here.

“SNAC” Sport Nutrition (Website)

An awesome website for sport nutrition information and advice you can trust, click here.


Coconut-Banana Muffins


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole grain flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 mashed bananas, extra ripe
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup flaked coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together bananas, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and ½ cup coconut in separate bowl, then combine with dry ingredients. Mix gently, but thoroughly.
  3. Divide batter among lined muffin cups, filling to ¾ full. Sprinkle remaining coconut on top of each muffin for garnish.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown, cool for 10 minutes and enjoy warm with a glass of milk or fortified soy beverage.

High-Protein Berry Smoothie


  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup frozen berries
  • ¼ cup whey protein powder, or skim milk powder


  1. Add ingredients to blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Add ¼ cup of water or more to achieve desired thickness.
  3. Serve immediately.