May 26, 2016
High Schools to Receive Nutritional Counseling

In order to ensure that athletes have proper nutrition, the Allegheny Health Network has added Come Ready Nutrition to its AHN Mobile Training Program, enabling schools in 19 different districts across western Pennsylvania to have the services of registered dietitians.

According to The Almanac, the nutrition program will launch in Bethel Park, Franklin Regional, Hampton, and Montour, all of which are in districts in which the AHN has contracts. By next fall, Chartiers-Houston, Peters Township, and Canon-McMillan are set to adopt the program.

Craig Castor, sports medicine supervisor for AHN, said he chose schools that the network “had long relationships with,” when starting the program.

“I know that these particular schools will really take the program head on and get that information to their athletes,” Castor said. “We have been working with these schools for 20-plus years now.”

The dietitians are considered an “add-on” to the AHN contracts with the districts, and part of the sports medicine program that the districts have already paid for. They will visit each district a few times per month to advise the schools how to best provide their athletes with nutrition, and schools will receive fueling stations that hold gluten-free snacks and protein bars for athletes. Castor said that ensuring athletes get nutrition throughout the day is important.

“Looking at the overall aspect of it, the majority of kids don’t go on to play college sports,” Castor said. “They will no longer have those dedicated times of practice and training once they go to college or begin their young professional life. There is going to be a decrease in activity, so making sure their diet adjusts accordingly is important.”

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