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Healthy Snacks for Young Athletes Back in School

Healthy Snacks for Young Athletes Back in School

What grab-n-go food should you keep on hand to keep them fueled?

And how much do they need?

School is back in full swing and that means life is even busier than it was during the summer! If you’re not prepared with quick and easy foods to keep on hand for your athlete, then you’ll have a ‘hangry ‘athlete on your hands.

 Just to put things in perspective, an active teenage boy requires 3,000-4,000 calories per day, and active female teens need 2,400-3,000 calories per day.

If fuel stores are not properly maintained, that can lead to sluggishness during sport, a higher risk for becoming sick, and increased risk for injuries like sprains, tears, and even broken bones.

So, let’s talk about healthy snacks that you can keep on hand that will contribute to those caloric needs. Snacks should be around 300-600 calories (depending on the number of snacks consumed per day) and need to contain a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. 

Think of snacks as a mini-meal, rather than “snacky” type foods.

I recommend they eat:

  • A mid-morning snack between classes or if it’s been approved by a teacher, during a class (remember, nothing with an offensive odor or loud).
  • A mid-afternoon snack- this will likely be a pre-workout snack.
  • If two practices are back-to-back, you’ll need to pack a quick snack to have between each practice.
  • A bed-time snack. See my post – What Your Young Athlete Should Eat After a Late Night Practice or Game.

Don’t wait for hunger to hit; have a schedule! If this is something you or your athlete needs help with, schedule a free no-obligation consultation with me.

Snacks don’t have to be something that needs to be prepared at that time but rather can be something pre-packaged or something homemade that can be kept on hand.

Healthy snacks to keep on hand for busy athletes in school:

Large apple or banana w/peanut butter or almond butter, large glass of milk or Fairlife protein shake.

Graham crackers or whole grain crackers with pb with a large glass of milk or Fairlife protein shake.

2 Hard boiled eggs, 2 servings whole grain crackers, piece of fruit.

2 String cheese and 2 servings of whole grain crackers.

Whole grain crackers and veggies w/hummus.

Bars: Rx Bar, Go Macro Bar, Clif Bar.

Peanut butter & Jelly Sandwich on whole wheat or sprouted grain bread.

Greek yogurt, berries and Nature Valley Protein granola.

Packages of nuts/trail mix, a large piece of fruit, and container of Greek yogurt or glass of milk, like Horizon milk.

Belvita crackers and package of Justin’s Almond Butter or Jiff To-Go.

Overnight oats w/milk, peanut butter, flaxseeds, dried fruit.

Applesauce muffins with Jiff To-Go peanut butter and cup of juice. See the recipe here.

Vanilla fairlife - Healthy Snacks for Young Athletes Back in School
Fairlife protein shake
Healthy Snacks for Young Athletes Back in School
Clif Bar
Healthy Snacks for Young Athletes Back in School
Jif to Go
Healthy Snacks for Young Athletes Back in School
Justin’s Peanut Butter

I make those applesauce muffins on a fairly regular basis- it’s a great way to get in fruit and whole grains in one easy to eat muffin. Plus, my kids love them! You can also pack these in with a lunch for a delicious, sweet snack with a meal.

If you’re looking for help with pre and post workout snacks specifically, check out these blogs:

Everything You Need to Know About Pre-workout Fueling

Post-Workout Fueling for Recovery

As I mentioned, young athletes require a lot of calories. Think about the hundreds of calories they burn during practice, during school and just to grow! It all adds up to be thousands of calories over the course of the day. This can sound daunting but keeping these quick and easy snacks on hand will help get the job done without the fuss!

Need professional support for your student athlete? Reach out today by scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation!

Want to get stronger, faster and healthier so you can PR your next race/competition, improve your relationship with food and feel confident in your body? Join the Sustainable Sports Nutrition Academy! This 100% online, self-study program compiles everything I’ve learned as a Sports Dietitian for over 10 years. Check out everything that’s included –

The Sustainable Sports Nutrition Academy