Chicago Suburban Family


Fueling Young Athletes

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Fueling Young Athletes

Fit & Fun Activities

  • Camp Anokijig
  • InZone – LEARN MORE
  • Animal Camp Jamaica
  • Great Lakes Center Youth Volleyball Academy
  • Illinois Stampede B-Ball
  • Cub Creek Science Camp


Fueling Young Athletes

Young athletes face distractions that can keep them from eating properly. From school and homework to training and competition, they don’t always pay attention to how they fuel their bodies or take the time to understand the role nutrition plays in supporting their training and goals. Heather Mangieri, a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says there are six food rules that athletes, coaches, and families should employ to help bring about that understanding. She reveals them in her book, Fueling Youth Athletes (Human Kinetics).

  1. Eat meals—no grazing. Mangieri dislikes the word “snack” because it conjures up visions of chips, pretzels, sweets, or a single piece of fruit. She would prefer to replace “snack” with “mini-meal” and encourages young athletes to eat one or two of them each day between regular meals. These mini-meals should contain at least two food groups and include a source of high-quality protein. The foods should also be filling so that they help the athlete feel satisfied until the next meal.
  2. Never use food as a reward. Mangieri stresses that you should never use food as a reward for good behavior. Using food as a reward teaches young athletes to categorize foods as good or bad and can lead to negative feelings about food. While studies show using tasty foods as a reward makes them more enticing, making kids stay at the dinner table until they finish their vegetables makes them less interested in healthy food. Instead, families should use other items as rewards for good behavior, such as books, music downloads, or movies.

“Parents can help the children be successful by getting trigger or comfort foods out of the house and filling the cabinets with healthy foods and snacks that are ready to eat.”

  1. Be a role model. Giving advice is easy, but youth athletes are much more likely to do what their parents and coaches do, not what they say. The mother of three active children herself, she thinks parents should not only tell their young athletes how to eat healthfully but also show them how to eat healthfully. Similarly, coaches can do this by providing the right options for recovery or by selecting eating establishments after a game that offer healthy choices.
  2. Make it a family affair. If a child needs to lose weight, it is not just the child’s concern—it is the family’s concern as well. When one child is struggling with weight, singling him or her out as having a problem can leave them feeling isolated and be detrimental to self-esteem. Mangieri recommends keeping the situation positive and focusing on how the family can eat better together. Family members should work together to eat healthier and become more physically active.
  3. Create a healthy environment. Mangieri points out the obvious: you can’t eat what is not in the house. If children or teenagers come home from school or practice hungry, they are likely to grab the first thing they see. So, if the cabinet if filled with chips, pretzels, and sweet treats, there is a high likelihood the kids will choose those items. Telling kids not to eat those things will not work. Parents can help the children be successful by getting trigger or comfort foods out of the house and filling the cabinets with healthy foods and snacks that are ready to eat. “This does not mean that children should be deprived of foods they like,” Mangieri explains. “If they really want ice cream, drive to the store and buy a small cone. Feed the craving without overindulging.”
  4. Power down during mealtimes. Eating well includes paying attention to what you are eating, not your electronics. When young athletes are engaged in texting conversations or watching videos during mealtime, it can lead to overeating. It is hard for them to pay attention to hunger and satiety cues when they are engaged with an electronic device. Mangieri recommends that families power down the devices, turn off the television, and focus on fueling their bodies properly.

For more information on Fueling Young Athletes visit

Fit & Fun Activities

Camp Anokijig
Outrageous fun is around every corner at Camp Anokijig! For 92 years, we have nurtured independence, character, and confidence in our campers as they build positive values, friendships, and life skills through their experiences. We offer a huge variety of activities for campers to self-direct their own camp experience, build self-esteem, and create an enriching week of summer camp. Convenient, 1-week sessions offer valuable flexibility to accommodate busy family schedules. Be part of the family and catch the Anokijig spirit! For more information: or 920-893-0782 (ACA Accredited).

InZone, Harper College’s enrichment and sports camp for ages 8 to 14, fills your summer with fun and learning. Kids can expand their art creativity, develop outdoor education skills, create their own video games or become the master of STEM challenges, all while making new friends. Visit to learn more about InZone, request a catalog, and schedule your summer fun. Harper College CE, 1200 West Algonquin Road, Palatine, IL 60067. 847.925.6300

Animal Camp Jamaica
Travel abroad with Animal Camp Jamaica – Ages 13-18. This 13 day program focuses on Marine Biology and Cultutral Immersion. Spend mornings snorkeling and afternoons exploring the island of Jamaica swimming with dolphins, trying exotic foods, and jumping from waterfalls! Campers stay at Seven Palms Villa in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. For more info call (573) 458-2125.

Great Lakes Center Youth Volleyball Academy
The GLCYA is accepting girls and boys ages 2-14 for the Great Lakes Center Youth Volleyball Academy Fall, Club, Winter and Spring programs. All sessions focus on motor development and individual skill development by teaching both proper skill technique and introducing the young athlete to age appropriate game play as well for volleyball. We are also offering winter/spring clinics and lessons for all ages.  The Great Lakes Volleyball Center is located at 579 N. Oakhurst Drive, Aurora, IL. 60502. For more info call 630-898-6400 or visit FB: Great Lakes Center Youth Academy

Illinois Stampede B-Ball
The Illinois Stampede youth basketball program will be hosting tryouts for players for our 2018 spring/Summer season. Illinois Stampede program is centered on the concept of teaching fundamental skills and developing the complete player for boys 3rd-11th and girls 5th-10th grade. Selected players for our teams will compete in highly competitive leagues and tournament play throughout the chicagoland area. Pre-Register online starting in January and tryouts are Free! all  Players will be selected for teams based on skill level. For registration details please visit us at or call 630-442-0075.

Cub Creek Science Camp
For ages 7-17. Imagine a summer camp where you can eat breakfast next to a colony of lemurs, zoom down a zip-line and pet a camel before lunch, and play a camp wide game of Capture the Flag after dinner! We are that camp! With 300 animals including porcupines, foxes, parrots, lizards, miniature horses, a 6-element ropes course, and classes in chemistry, pottery, culinary, animal care, and many more, we are a truly unique summer camp experience! A/C cabins.  ACA accredited. (573) 458-2125.


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