Ted Harper, Team Sports Dietitian for the New England Patriots, maximizes each player’s performance and recovery through meticulous planning. Whether it is training at the elite level or just exercising regularly, simple strategies can ensure the body receives the nutrients needed to achieve specific performance and recovery goals. “One easy way to improve overall nutrition is replacing not-so-wise snacks like chips, sugary “fruit snacks,” cookies, candy and soda with tasty, nutritious foods such as pistachios,” says Harper.
Tips to Ensure Healthy Snacking
Ted Harper, Team Sports Dietitian for the New England Patriots, shares three ways to ensure young athletes are practicing good health and fitness habits, and snacking healthy.
What, When and How Much to Eat
Young athletes need to put more focus on their nutrition—when, what and how much they should eat as it relates to their busy days of training. Understanding how nutrition impacts their health, performance and recovery helps young athletes understand the importance of having a nutritional plan.
Individualize the Plan
It’s important for a sports dietitian to collaborate with an athlete in the planning process to give the athlete a sense of ownership of diet, training and recovery. Knowing where to locate healthy foods, how to prepare them, and when to pack them for on-the-go needs helps assure that the athlete consumes enough quality and total calories daily.
Make a Fuel Station
To check-off needed daily nutrients, eat these four simple, easy-to-pack whole foods: pistachios, bananas, dried tart cherries and Greek yogurt. For those who don’t have a nutritionist, designate a place at home or work that serves as a fueling station. Items to consider include pistachios and other nuts, fresh and dried fruit, Greek or dairy free yogurt, seeds, granola, tart cherry juice, string cheese, peanut butter and water.