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Top 10 Healthy Meals for Kids to Compete in Sports

Kids who play sports regularly will need a well-balanced diet in order to excel. This is no different for football and is crucial for proper development and top performances.

The following article will detail the reasons why a healthy well-balanced diet is so important and will hopefully provide some ideas for soccer players’ meal plans and nutritious meals for kids.

Food and Exercise

Correct nutrition is vital to sports performance. The energy for your muscles to work properly is garnered from glucose and fat. Fat stores are used for energy whilst resting whilst glucose is the primary source of energy for high-intensity sports and activities.

Glucose is stored as glycogen which runs out rapidly and therefore must be replaced often. The best way to up the levels of glycogen in your body before exercise is through the consumption of carbohydrates. Carbs remain in the stomach for a shorter period of time than protein and fat and are easier to digest. Glucose from carbohydrates then goes into the bloodstream ready to be used as energy in exercise. Carbohydrates are a good source of energy both before and during exercise.

Pre-Exercise Meal Ideas

Below are some pre-event meals designed to be well-balanced and provide high amounts of energy for peak performance during exercise.

Meal 1 – Bananas, cereal, milk, toast with jam, and water.

Meal 2 – Pasta with tomato sauce, Italian bread, apple juice, and water.


Meal 3 – Pineapple juice, pancakes, honey, milk, and water.

Meal 4 – Oatmeal with fruit, honey, and nuts.


Meal 5 – Scrambled eggs, toast, and mixed fruit.

Meal 6 – Toast with honey, orange juice, and yogurt smoothie.


Meal 7 – Bread, toast, muffins/crumpets with jam, honey, and a banana.

Meal 8 – Pancakes with honey, jam/syrup and a banana.

Meal 9 – Pasta or rice with a low-fat topping.


Meal 10 – Rice cakes or bread rolls with a banana.

During Event Snacks

The following snackable foods are great to have during exercise in break periods or whenever you fancy a snack.

  • Apple sauce
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Bread or mini muffins
  • Canned fruit
  • Cornbread
  • Fruit juice (100% fruit)
  • Fruit leather (made from 100% fruit)
  • Granola Bars (less than 8 grams of sugar)
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Plain crackers
  • Water (of course)
  • Whole wheat mini bagels


After exercise meals should have plenty of cards to replace glycogen used during exercise. Protein should also be consumed to help build and repair muscles. A small amount of sodium is also recommended as sodium is lost through sweat whilst exercising.

Flavoured milk, fruit, yogurts, apples, and cheese can all be useful things to include in recovery meals.


The Bottom Line

A balanced diet is important in all walks of life but particularly in sport and exercise. If you want to reach your peak physical ability and stay there you will need to eat the right things consistently. Sports nutrition for football players is very important and is promoted at Samba Soccer Schools.

If your child is interested in developing their sporting ability and wants to have fun playing football, why not consider Samba Soccer Schools? We teach football the Brazilian way in a fun and encouraging environment. For more information about Samba Soccer Schools, click here.

FAQs About Healthy Meals for Kids

What Meals Are Best Before Exercise?

The above article has a list of meal suggestions that are ideal as pre-exercise meals to give you energy.

What Snacks Are Suitable After Training?

There are some recommended snacks that you can enjoy during breaks in exercise or whenever you like in the article above.

What Are Healthy Meals for Sport?

The article above explains some of the key components of a healthy and balanced diet suited to the sport. How you obtain energy and recommended foods that will help you perform at your best are detailed above.

Are Bananas Good for Pre-Sports Nutrition?

Bananas are a great source of energy for pre-exercise meals. They feature prominently in the above article and are great sports nutrition for kids.

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