Apr 21, 2017
Healthy Snacking
Dr. Lisa Herzig

Many student-athletes don’t give much thought to nutrition. It can be tempting for them to frequent fast-food drive-throughs before and after practices, stuffing themselves on burgers and fries. Often, they just aren’t aware of the effects these items have on their performance.

Fortunately, that trend has been shifting in recent years. Slowly but surely, student-athletes’ nutrition has been getting more and more attention. To help our athletes at California State University, Fresno, we put together a Sports Nutrition Playbook. It provides athletes with a great reference to use when implementing good nutrition habits into their daily life. One of the items we put in the Playbook is a section on healthy snacking.

The following are some of the suggestions included in the Sports Nutrition Playbook to help student-athletes with choosing options for snacks.

Snacks on the go

Fruit-flavored, low-fat Greek yogurt with low-fat granola

Lean roast beef, ham, or turkey and a string cheese stick rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla and paired with baby carrots

Whole grain pita bread triangles and flavored hummus

A scoop of low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese with sliced strawberries or cantaloupe cubes

Fresh fruit paired with peanut butter or nuts

Hard-boiled egg paired with a handful of cherry tomatoes

Quick picks from the vending machine or convenience store

Beef jerky

Fat-free or low-fat yogurt or yogurt drinks

Packages of baby carrots, broccoli florets or celery sticks

Fresh fruits, fruit salads, or fruit cups

Mozzarella cheese sticks

Pudding cups

Cereal bars or nutrition bars

Low-fat or fat-free regular or flavored milks

100% fruit or vegetable juices

Sports drinks

Survival stashes

Oatmeal packets with nuts or peanut butter

Single-serve tuna in flavor-fresh pouch, served with whole grain crackers

Light microwave popcorn

Raisins, dried apricots, and single-serve fruit cups packed in 100% fruit juice

Shelf-stable protein drinks

Lisa Herzig, PhD, RD, CDE, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and the Director of the Dietetics and Food Administration Program at California State University, Fresno.

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