Snack Ideas for Prevention and Maximal Performance

by Jodi Sheakley, MS CFT

Which snacks qualify as superstars that assist with recovery and may also assist in helping prevent injury and illness?  The following list has been designed with young athletes’ increased needs for the following vitamins and minerals.  Keep in mind that active adolescents have a need for not just increased calories, but increased quality calories.

Whole grain crackers, cheese (string cheese, part-skim/2% lowfat cheese slice, mini cheese wheels or cheese wedges, cheese cubes), and whole fruit such as a pear or plum

Crackers provide whole grains and fiber, cheese provides protein, and the fruit contains fiber and vitamins such as vitamin C.  Because whole fruits such as apples and pears come “pre-packaged,” as does single servings of cheese, these options are also “easy packing” choices.

Almonds and fresh pineapple

“Good” plant fats for heart health, plus fiber and small amounts of protein from the nuts;  pair with pineapple, which has enzymes that can repair muscle.


Granola with berries and Greek yogurt

Also a good choice after your event, berries are a source of vitamin C;  the berries and granola provide carbohydrates that can help replenish glycogen stores.  Greek yogurt is often low-fat and contains more protein (and perhaps less sugar) than “regular” yogurt.


Baked potato topped with salsa – may mix salsa with 1-2 Tbsp of lowfat/fat-free sour cream

The skin of the baked potato contains potassium and fiber, plus the salsa contains vitamin C;  a great post-event choice!


Banana with peanut (or other nut) butter

Another ideal choice after your strenuous exercise, bananas contain potassium, which helps to replace lost electrolytes and avoid muscle cramps.  Take advantage of the single-serving packs of peanut butter for a packable, portable snack solution.

Jodi Sheakley, MS, CFT, is the founder of Nutrivita Wellness, a healthy living consulting practice.  Jodi works extensively with family nutrition, weight management, nutrition for athletes, and whole-foods supplements.  For more information, email or call 704.965.0785.

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