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5 Healthy Breakfasts to Kick Start Your Kid’s Day

 

Your kid has a lot to do today. There are trees to climb, problems to solve and games to be played. To make sure they start off on the right foot, give them a healthy breakfast to energize them for the day ahead.

 

Whether your kid is heading off to day of learning at school or a day of running riot at summer camp, they’ll need a decent breakfast to make sure they have the energy they need. It’s hard work being a kid and having the right fuel in your belly can make all the difference. Here are five healthy breakfasts for your child to enjoy this week:

 

  1. Oh-what-a-beautiful-morning oatmeal

Oatmeal is full of energy and will help keep your child feeling satisfied long into the day, however it isn’t super heavy so they won’t feel too full to move either. If your child has a sweet tooth, try adding coconut oil for a sugar-free way of sweetening up this breakfast option. You could also add cinnamon for some extra flavor. Experiment with different flavors and toppings to spice up this breakfast option.

 

  1. Peanut butter towers

Peanut butter is a great energizing food. It’s high on fat which is great for the brain, and contains lots of essential vitamins. Peanut butter towers combine the health benefits of peanut butter with the tantalizing sweetness of fruit. Let your kid choose which fruit they wants to use (banana or apple both work great), cut the fruit into slices and then layer up with peanut butter until you have (yep, you guessed it)… a tower!

 

  1. Sun’s-coming-up smoothie

A smoothie is a great way to give your child a boost of vitamins, minerals and energy at the start of the day. It’s also something that can be easily adapted each day so your kid will never say “mom, I don’t want a strawberry smoothie again”. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients until you perfect your recipes, and don’t be disheartened if it takes you a few tries to get it right. Add a small handful of mixed seeds and nuts for that extra vitamin boost your child will need throughout the day. Depending on the flavor, your smoothie will have a different color; spinach smoothies are green, berry smoothies are purple and mango smoothies yellow… they make for very fun drinks!

 

  1. Quite-the-morning quinoa fruit salad

A fruit salad is bound to be a hit with the kids. It’s naturally sweet, bursting with flavor and can be tweaked to fit their tastes. The only downside to a fruit salad is that it doesn’t leave you with a full tummy, in fact, your kids might feel hungry again not long after eating this. By adding some cooked quinoa to the fruit salad, you can ensure your child is getting that extra little bit of sustenance to keep them going until lunch. Simply stir in some cooked quinoa to your fruit salad and voila – enjoy!

 

  1. Breakfast burrito

The breakfast burrito is delicious, great to eat on-the-go and way better than toast. Toast is just food on top of bread, a breakfast burrito is food in a tortilla. See the difference? You can fill the burrito up with whatever you like. Great fillers include mashed avocado (full of energy and good fats), black beans (these bad boys will help your child feel full for longer) and salsa (it doesn’t sound like a breakfast food, but trust us).

 

These are only a few options for a nutritious breakfast that will be a total hit with your young athletes. Its always a good idea to involve them in the process of cooking like putting fruit in the blender or wrapping up the burrito, it makes it more fun for them and easier for you.

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Sports, Players and Giving Back through Community Service

 

We all know the typical fundraiser routine. Coach or parent-in-charge hands out forms to buy candy bars, wrapping paper, candles, frozen cookie dough or subs. The athletes’ parents quickly hit up everyone on their email list for donations. The money goes to a good cause – the kids themselves! Sports leagues put it back into the community to help buy uniforms, equipment and support training clinics. But, what about donating it to someone else? Supporting local (or even national) organizations by fundraising and service projects gives the kids a chance to learn about giving and teaches them that teamwork happens both on and off the field.

Pro sports teams do charity fundraising and community service in spades. Use the professionals as role models and start your own team donation project. How?

Piggyback on the pros

If you’re not sure where to begin, pick a charity organization that belongs to a pro athlete who plays in the same sport as your team. Peyton Manning’s Peyback Foundation serves disadvantaged children, the Mia Hamm Foundation raises awareness about bone marrow donation, the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism helps children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and that’s only a few of the famous celebrity sports figure charities out there.

Stage a special tournament

Celebrity sports stars do, and so can your players! After choosing charity, set up a fun-filled game that takes the kids and the families above and beyond regular season play. Invite the entire community, donating admission/ticket funds to the charity, you can also set up a concession stand to get even more donations. Make the event truly stand out with a silly theme (such as Halloween costume basketball) or try an adults vs. kids game.

Work for it

Take a break from lifting in the weight room and do some heavy lifting for a good cause! Ask your team to volunteer to help clean up at a local nursing home or the community park or find some other work-related service opportunity that’s age-appropriate. Wear team shirts or your team’s colors. Don’t forget to ask the families to help out too. The more hands to help the better. Cleaning up at home is never fun, but if you’re doing it with your friends and for a good cause you will discover its actually a good time.

Teach a new team

If you have older kids on your team, have them volunteer in an underprivileged area. Not all kids have the same opportunities when it comes to playing sports. Some communities might not have leagues, and if they do not every child can afford to play. Set up a free-of-charge clinic in partnership with a community center, rec center or school that serves less fortunate families. Invite the community out for a day of sporting play!

Send a message

Sometimes all a charity needs is a little word of mouth – or advertising. After choosing a cause, design special team shirts that announces it. Wear the team shirts during a major game and add signs to the field. Add a website or email address to the shirts/signs for taking donations. The message shirt is a nice change pace when it comes to branded, logo or advertising-based t’s.

Not all fundraising efforts have to go directly to the team. Even though your players need funds to keep their play-time alive, they can also learn valuable lessons by giving to others. Along with these ideas, you can take traditional money-making efforts (such as selling team merchandise or having a raffle) and turn them into charity work. The important part is to get the team in on the action, motivating them to give back to the community.

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Why A Daytime Summer Camp Is Right for Your Kid

When it comes to your kid’s summer, you’ll want to make sure you get it right. Camp doesn’t have to mean weeks away from home, find out why a daytime summer camp might be right for your kid.

Your own childhood memory bank might be filled with memories of how you spent your summer months. If you spent your time climbing trees, sharing secrets and falling in love at camp, you might be hoping for the same experience for your own child. After all, camp is one of those coming of age experiences that plays an important part in helping kids to grow up.

 

If you’re not quite ready to pack your child off into the sunset just yet, you might like the idea of a day camp. Unlike a traditional summer camp, a day camp operates during daytime hours only. So your child will be tucked up safely under your roof at the end of each day. Here are just three reasons why a daytime summer camp is right for your kid:

 

  1. It’s a step towards independence

There’s no need to throw your child in at the deep end, your child can gain independence one step at a time. It doesn’t need to be a sink or swim approach to camp, you can ease your child into time away from home by choosing a day camp. At day camp, your child will get to make new friends, learn new skills and gain confidence – all without straying too far from home. Day camp allows your child to enjoy the benefits of summer camp without forfeiting on the love and comfort of home.

 

  1. You’ll still get to enjoy family time

Summer camp can be tough on kids, but sometimes it’s even tougher on the parents. After all, you’re bound to miss your kids if you don’t see them for weeks on end! Sure, the phone calls and postcards are great, but it’s not the same as a chat over dinner, is it? With day camp, you’ll get to spend each evening with your child. You’ll hear all the latest gossip from camp, share in their sporting achievements and get to kiss your kids on the forehead before they go to sleep. Really, what could be better?

 

  1. Your child will meet new people locally

Camp is great because your child is exposed to new kids from all over the country, but wouldn’t it be better if those friendships could become a part of everyday life? With day camp, your child will be spending his days with other kids from the local area. That means, when camp’s over, the friendship isn’t. At day camp, your child will mix with an array of kids from the nearby area and you may find some of these friendships blossom into lifelong friendships.

 

Sure, both sleep-away and day camp are both great experiences and fun for your kids. However, day camps are the best of both worlds!

 

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Girls Just Want to Play Sports

 

With recent research showing over 100,000 girls playing ‘traditional’ male sports (including football, hockey and wrestling), the instances of residual ‘culture shock’ seems to be waning. What once created problems for athletics organizations, coaches and parents is now becoming regarded as status quo – as it should be.

Athletic Pioneers

Although baseball player Jackie Mitchell is not as recognized in the sports world as she should be, Mitchell was an admired baseball player who has become a pioneer for women in sports.

In 1931, when she occupied a roster spot for the Class AA minor league Chattanooga Lookouts, a feat enviable of many a major league pitcher. In an exhibition game, she recorded consecutive strikeouts against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The southpaw hurler caught Ruth ‘looking’ for a called third strike and followed the feat with whiffing Gehrig as he missed on three straight swings.

A more familiar name is Babe Didrickson Zaharias, a multi-sport athlete three (two gold, one silver) Olympic medals in track and field. She was also an All-American in basketball. Zaharias became the first woman golfer to play in PGA tournaments, actually making the cut several times in the 1940s.

In 2003, Katie Hnida became the first woman to score points in NCAA Division I football. Hnida kicked two extra points for the University of New Mexico. Hnida was not the first woman participant in college football, though. In 2001, kicker Ashley Martin was on the roster of Jacksonville State.

‘Girl on the Team’ & Coaching

As a coach it is important to be pro-active and encouraging of female athletes. They should be treated no differently and should be given the same responsibilities as the boys. As a coach, you have to keep an eye on the team and make sure there is no bullying, or unfairness among team members. Be open to your team and listen to any problems or concerns they may have. Also, don’t forget about the parents, make sure to be open and available to speak with them, in the end they want the best for their kids!

Why a Girl Wants to Play?

Girls have the same drive as boys to play sports. What if a girl wants to play baseball instead of girl’s softball? Why not? There is no real reason why girls should stick to softball and boys to baseball. Girls also want the extra competition and challenge. Although it is true that sometimes boys want to play around with boys, and girls want to play with girls. In sports, it should never be assumed that girls want to play a different game. A team should value all its members equally, and encourage them regardless of their gender.

Mom & Dad

A daughter wanting to participate in ‘contact’ sports (football or hockey, e.g.) may create quite an interesting discussion at the dinner table. Moms and Dads need to listen to a daughter’s reason for wanting to play such sports. The worries are no different than for parents of boys wanting to wear a pair of shoulder pads and a helmet. Obviously, the well-being of children is the most important but ‘being a girl’ should not be a decision-maker. Parents should encourage their daughter to play they sport they like and should always be a supportive.

 

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Off Season Training

The Season’s Over, Now What? How to Keep Up Training

For the past few months your after-school life has revolved around practice, practice and more practice. You’re on top of your game, feeling great and certainly getting in the activity you need to be healthy. Suddenly the season is over, there are no more sports and you’re not sure what to do. You could go into a post-season slump, letting go and relaxing. Or, you could keep training – on your own schedule.

It’s tempting to spend your after-school (and weekend) time watching TV, playing video games or just hanging out with friends. That’s okay. You’ve spent the last few months working hard, and you deserve some relaxation. That said, trading training for 12 hours a day of computer game play isn’t healthy. If you want to stay in shape and keep your body ready for the next sports season (which will also help you to stay physically fit and healthy), ditch the idea of totally trading exercise for everything that’s less active.

What can you do after the season is over to continue training?

  • Talk to your coach before the season ends. He or she may have ideas for training activities or be able to set up a post-sports schedule for you to follow.
  • Walk instead of ride. Mom could give you a ride to school – or, you could get in some added exercise by walking.
  • Stick to a schedule. Whether your coach gave you a post-season schedule or you’ve created your own routine, don’t start skipping out on your plan. Arrange other activities around your schedule, making your workout just as important as it was during the sports season.
  • Try another sport. You don’t have to go all in and join a second varsity team. An intermural activity or neighborhood league can keep you active, help you learn new skills and make training more manageable.
  • Find a buddy. During the season you had teammates by your side. This meant having friends nearby and a support system. If that seemed to make training easier (or, at least more fun), keep it up after the season’s over. Talk to a teammate or a friend who’s interested in exercising, and ask them to workout with you. The two of you can hang out and motivate each other to keep going.
  • Ask your family to help. Mom and dad are there for you. Talk to your family if you need some spurring on when it comes to getting out there and training. Maybe invite them to join, having a weekly family soccer game can be very fun and healthy for everyone.
  • Keep a log. During the season you had a schedule and knew exactly when practice was. You had a set number of hours over the course of the week – on specific days, at specific times. Now that you’re on your own, it’s easy to forget how much you’ve done and when. Keep a journal or add a note on your smart phone every time that you train. This helps you to see how much you’re doing (or not doing).

You’ve spent the past season working hard. You’re at the top of your game and are looking forward to next year’s games, meets or matches. Even though you can take training down a notch, relax a bit and have some fun, getting physical activity during your down time is still a must-do. Taking some time off from organized athletic activities doesn’t always mean that you slump into a couch potato. Stay busy, stay active and workout with a friend. Make your post-season plan enjoyable, getting in your training while still staying social.

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Life’s A Balancing Act For Student Athletes

 

Life’s a balancing act and right now school’s your job. That said, it may seem like your team sport is also a full-time commitment, and it kind of is. Finding time to do both often requires careful scheduling. How can you keep your grades on course, while still sticking to a training schedule, making it to practice and playing games?

Set Your Priorities

You’ve got a major Spanish final coming up. You’re not exactly confident about it. But you also have soccer practice. Chances are that you need some extra study time right now – making that Spanish final a priority.

This doesn’t mean that you ditch your sport. Instead, talk to your coach and explain what’s going on. Ask if you can miss one practice or leave early in order to hit the library. Coaches often are very understanding about this and know that right now you are a student-athlete and need to succeed in order to become an athletic-student. Besides, if you get a good grade your teacher is more likely to let you leave class a bit early for a game and will have acknowledge your dedication to both sports and academics.

Stick to a Schedule

Before the season starts, set up a school work schedule. Figure out how much time you need for each subject. Add these blocks of time around your practices and games. Put your schedule on your phone or write it on a calendar so you can look at every day.

Avoid Late Nights

The schedule’s set. Great! But, it seems to include a lot of late-night study sessions. You aren’t as likely to learn what you need to know (at least, not to your fullest potential) if your studying time happens when you’re overly tired. If you can squeeze in some after-school study time before going to your 7 pm game, do it. Waiting until you get home at 10 may mean that you have to stay up until midnight just to finish your homework.

Make the Most of Weekends

Unless you have a full weekend tournament, Saturday and Sunday give you plenty of time to hit the books. Yes, you want time to relax and spend with your friends. But, you also need to study. Make school work a priority and put it at the beginning of your weekend days. Then, you can get together with friends later on in the evening! If you try to have scheduled weekends you will soon realize that waking up at 9am, instead of noon like most of your friends gives you three hours of very productive time!

Study in School

You could spend your 15 minutes of homeroom, the 45 minutes of study hall or your free period texting friends. Or, you could take advantage of this in-school time to do tomorrow’s homework or study for a test.

Put Together a Team Study Group

Sometimes studying is easier with a buddy. If you have teammates in your classes, set up a study group and make plans to meet before or after practices. Not only can you help each other with your school work, but you’re also getting the chance to be social.

Combining school and sports takes time management skills and dedication. You only have 24 hours in a day, and almost half that time is spent sleeping! Create a manageable schedule that you can realistically follow, making it perfectly possible to get your homework done and be your best on the field too! It may be hard at first but it is definitely possible.

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What To Do When You Don’t Get Along With A Teammate

Your teammates are your support on the field and your relationship with them is important for the whole team. So what can you do if you don’t get on with a teammate?

Your teammates are your people. Or, at least, they should be. Together you can battle your way to victory, critique the team’s performance and celebrate when you win. You must work together to achieve success on the pitch, you’re far more likely to succeed when you work together like a well-oiled machine.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always that simple. In fact, sometimes it can be downright complicated. You might be on the same sports team as someone, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be friends for life. There may even be players you simply can’t get along with or who don’t seem able to get along with you. It’s not ideal, but it’s real life. As teammates, however, you’re going to have to find a way to get along for the good of the team. Here are some things to try when you can’t seem to get along with a teammate:

  1. Be civil

If another player gets on your nerves, you need to learn to rise above it. Arguing isn’t going to help and it’s certainly not going to be good for the team. By creating a huge fallout, you may even end up isolating yourself from other players on the team. Instead, prove to everyone that you can be the bigger person. Be civil, try to get along and simply don’t cause a fuss. Instead focus on the team and how you can work together to win this season.

  1. Talk to the coach

If another player is deliberately trying to provoke you and you feel unable to ignore it, it might be time to talk to coach. If the player’s behavior is out of line or if you simply feel unable to handle the situation yourself, speak to your coach about the issues. It may seem out of their jurisdiction, but handling team relationships is an important aspect of coach’s role. They may be able to offer advice or help you think of ways to handle the situation.

  1. Be honest

If you feel able to, discuss the issues with the player involved. Explain why you think something is wrong, how you’re worried it could negatively impact the team and what you think can be done about it. If they are a team player, they’ll probably agree that the team should come before any personal issues the two of you might be having.

The most important thing is that all of this is handled off the field. Your personal issues shouldn’t impact the game so make sure you aren’t dealing with your frustrations on the pitch. Make sure you have this player’s back on the field, even if they don’t have yours when the match it over.

Have you had an issue with a teammate and, if so, how did you deal with it?

 

 

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5 Reasons You Should Send Your Kid To Sports Camp This Summer

 

If you’re currently wondering what sort of extra curricular activities your child might enjoy this summer, you might be wondering whether sports camp is a good fit, here we’ll give you some reasons why day sports camps are the way to go!

Summer camp is a great way for your child to spend the summer. At a day camp, your child will get to enjoy all of the benefits of day long activities without having to spend weeks away from home.

Fitness

Obesity is an epidemic and it’s affecting more everyday. Childhood is an important time to set the foundations for a healthy life. Encourage good habits in your child and you can pave the way for a healthy future. Playing team sports is a great way to develop exercise habits that could last a lifetime. Sports camp could be just the ticket to showing your child just how rewarding and fun playing sports can be.

Confidence

Attending sports camp, learning from the best and developing friendships with teammates will all help your child to feel be more confident. While confidence may come naturally to some kids, for others it can be more of a challenge. If you want your child to realize their full potential, you need to give them the opportunity to shine. Sports camp will provide ample opportunity for your child to challenge themselves, make a valuable contribution to the game and, hopefully, win a game or two.

Friendship

Sports camp will be filled with kids just like yours. Kids who come together for one amazing summer, to train together, play together and win together. Nothing cements a friendship quite like the glory of winning a game. Through team building exercises and competitive games, your child will get to know the other kids at camp. Some of these friendships may last a lifetime.

School

Attending sports camp might just give your kid the edge they need to try out for a team in the new academic year. After a summer spent scoring points on the field, they’ll be more confident than ever before. Far from feeling like an outsider on the pitch, they’ll know they’re home. If your child has always wanted to be the star player, sports camp is the perfect place for them to hone their abilities.

Home

Unlike many summer camps, with a day camp you don’t have to send your child away for weeks on end. Instead, you can expect your child home for dinner every night after camp. That means you’ll get to hear all the latest gossip from the locker rooms, see the pride on your kid’s face when they tell you they scored the winning goal and, most importantly of all, you don’t have to miss out on seeing your child this summer.

 

 

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5 Ways To Bond With Your Team

To improve your performance on the field, it’s important to strengthen the bonds off the field. Here are just a few ideas of ways you can bond with your team mates.

Your teammates are important people in your life right now. They share in the celebrations after a winning match and are there to offer words of encouragement after a difficult game. They know exactly what you’re going through because they’re right there with you. They’re an important part of your life and the better you know each other, the better able you are to support each other. Here are five easy ways to bond with your teammates:

  1. Camp Out

There is no better place to bond than under the night sky. Get your teammates away from technology, away from their homework and away from the stresses of everyday life and create a space for some old school quality bonding. Camping is fun, even if you’re the sort of player who hates camping, it’s hard to deny the charm of spending some time outdoors. The change of scenery, open air and close proximity to nature are guaranteed to see you all having fun.

  1. Party Time

Life on the field can be pretty stressful. The adrenalin is pumping, you have your eye on the ball and your mind is 100% in the game. It’s exhilarating, exhausting and all-consuming all at the same time. And you’ll be more than ready to blow off steam after the game. A team party could be exactly what the doctor ordered. It’ll give you all a chance to relax together instead of running wild on the court.

  1. Team Improvement

Since you’re all on the team, it’s safe to assume you all love the team. What better way to bond than improving the team? This doesn’t mean working on your pitching skills or trying out new formations, far from it. This is about taking the time to invest in the little things that matter. The new uniforms, the changing rooms and the bleachers. These things won’t make or break your time, but you’ll all benefit from improving them. Brainstorm ways you can make improvements and then organize fundraisers to save up.

  1. Volunteer

You know what feels amazing? Giving back. Volunteering is a great way to motivate your team. Not only will it provide you all with another shared goal, but it will allow you to spend more time together away from the field. There are many different ways you can volunteer; you’re bound to find something that gets everyone fired up. You could use your sports skills to organize a sports day for kids from a disadvantaged area or spend the day preparing a new habitat at a wildlife reserve. Find a cause you all believe in and then call some charitable organizations to see how you could help.

  1. Debrief

You don’t need to spend money on extra curricular activities, team bonding can be as simple as a decent chat after each match. Encourage your team to talk through the game, what went well and what could be improved. Doing this regularly will help to open up communication, build confidence and encourage trust between members. It doesn’t have to take long, even just a ten-minute team chat at the end of the game could help to strengthen the bond. That said, there’s no reason why you can’t have the meeting over burgers and shakes at your local diner.

 

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Sensible Eating For The Teen Athlete

Most teen athletes will agree it is important to include a vigorous physical training regimen as part of their efforts to reach premiere levels of athletic performance. Weightlifting and cardiovascular conditioning are a mere afterthought to the dedicated athletic teenager. An area often times ignored, but equally vital to the overall well-being of young sports performers as those methods of physical conditioning just mentioned, is the importance of following a proper nutrition regimen.

U.S. dietary guidelines suggest a daily intake of 2,400 calories for teen girls 14-18 years of age. For boys of the same age group, a daily intake of approximately 3,000 calories is recommended. Interestingly both of these figures are about 500 calories above the recommended rate for adult men and women. Add the additional calorie burning by the average teen athlete during training, practices and games and the importance of sensible eating increases.

Nutrition needs to start at zero, literally. Zero is the number of calories in water and water is a great starting point when discussing sensible eating. A teen’s body is made up of 60 percent water. Muscle is actually 70 percent water and having a two percent water loss will affect an athlete’s performance. Not properly hydrating the body can have serious consequences. Dietary experts have a simple water-intake formula. Teens weighing over 100 pounds should be drinking 50 percent of their body weight ‘in ounces.’ (150 lb weight = 75 oz. of water, e.g.) Young athletes can start off on the right foot nutritionally by drinking 12 ounces of water upon waking up, and then continue the practice of hydrating throughout the day.

When it comes to actual food, a diet for a teen should include:

  • 45-65 percent carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole grain rice/pasta, yogurt)
  • 25-35 percent fats (fish oils, nuts, avocados)
  • ½ a gram per pound proteins, 150 lb. teen = 75 grams, e.g. (eggs, seafood, poultry)

Carbohydrates efficiently fuel production of body energy which is integral in an athlete’s performance in the areas of endurance and power. Some fats are actually good for the body. Omega-3 and monosaturated fats assist in moving substances in and out of body cells. These fats also help brain and nervous system health. Proteins make red blood cells (brings oxygen to muscle) and white blood cells (fights infections). Proteins also make hormones which assist in repairing muscles after workouts/games. Vitamins and minerals should be available for the body through healthy choices in fruits and vegetables, and a daily multi-vitamin will help teen athletes as well.

The importance of breakfast is widely known, but for teen athletes it can be difficult due to early morning practices. Even a healthy breakfast, if eaten less than 45 minutes prior to a game or workout, can cause athletes problems. Simplify it by eating something light like a whole wheat bagel (minus the cream cheese) or a banana. Be sure to have a healthy snack available after the morning session – like chocolate milk. Recent studies have concluded chocolate milk to be as good as sports drinks in the replacement of electrolytes and carbohydrates after a workout or game.

Figuring out a set of eating habits can be challenging, specially as a teenager but it is all about balance, and listening to your own body. If you drink enough water, maintain a healthy carbs, fats and protein ratio and don’t forget about breakfast you are on the right track.