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Eat Well Compete Well

Eat Well Compete Well is an initiative supported by Williamsburg Health Foundation.

This Greater Williamsburg area-wide initiative encourages athletic organizers, sports teams, coaches, parents, and young athletes to drink water, eat healthy snacks, and keep moving. It’s about that simple and the results are outstanding — overall better health and stronger competitors! Whether you represent a large sports organization, a community recreational group, or a school team, Eat Well Compete Well is a program you can implement. Don’t reach for sugary sodas or sports drinks — reach for water, and use the bottle fill-up stations. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables with nut butters and hummus. And of course, stay on the go: moving, exercising, walking more, biking more, and sitting less!

Keep Hydrated
The best source for hydration is still plain old-fashioned water. Most sports drinks are loaded with sugar that far exceeds the calories burned. Make sure your athlete always has a filled water bottle and encourage frequent drinking.

Healthy Snacks
You can help fuel your child’s body and performance by providing foods rich in healthy nutrients found in fruits and vegetables.

Move More
Practices may last an hour but children are typically moving less than half the time. Increasing the time they’re active by 10-15 minutes can make a big difference.

Informational Resources

Keep Hydrated Flyer

courtesy of:

Budgeting for Fruits and Vegetables Flyer

Budgeting for Fruits and Vegetables Flyer

Get Active Poster

3 Mile Walk Poster

Historic Ride Poster

Healthy Snacks

In order to achieve optimal health and athletic performance, it is important for young athletes to eat well-balanced meals and snacks and stay well hydrated. Good nutrition fuels the body, supports metabolism, and aids in tissue growth and repair.

Foods high in fats – French fries, burgers, potato chips, and full-fat dairy – can lead to stomach cramping during physical activity. Foods and beverages high in sugar – candy, cookies, soft drinks, and many sports drinks – cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar that lead to sudden drops in energy and stamina. So what are the “good” options?

Pre-exercise/pre-game snacks – Offer foods with plenty of complex carbohydrates and moderate protein but low in sugar and fat to prevent stomach upset:
Sandwich with whole grain bread, chicken, turkey, or tuna
Bagel with peanut butter (or other nut butter) and honey
Low fat yogurt
Fresh fruit (e.g. bananas, apples, grapes, cut oranges)
Pretzels with honey dipping sauce
Peanut butter crackers
String cheese

Mid-game/half time snacks – Avoid high sugar snacks that cause large fluctuations in blood sugar levels and salty snacks that contribute to dehydration:
Quartered oranges or peeled clementines
Apple or pear wedges
Melon chunks

Post-game – Provide a post-game snack or meal that is a balance of lean protein, carbs, and fat since a child’s body will be rebuilding muscles tissue and replenishing energy stores and fluids for up to 24 hours after a competition:
Fresh or dried fruit
Fresh veggies with hummus dip (e.g. carrots, cucumber slices)
Nuts or homemade trail mix of favorite nuts and dried fruits
Pretzels or plain popcorn
Baked chips with avocado guacamole
PB&J on whole wheat bread or bagel
Sandwich with chicken, turkey, or tuna
String cheese
Hard boiled egg with crackers
Oatmeal cookies, fig bars, or low-fat, low-sugar granola bars
Low fat yogurt
Crackers with peanut butter or cheese

Move More

Lack of physical activity is a big contributor to our current childhood obesity epidemic. You may be thinking that youth who play sports are the exception to this rule; unfortunately, that is not always the case. While we know that athletes participate in added physical activity, research on all youth sports tells us that sometimes these youth do not get the full 60 minutes in a day.

In fact, depending on the sport, youth athletes who participate in an hour-long practice are typically only active for about 50% of that time. Together we can ensure our athletes stay active and develop healthy habits that will help them perform on and off the field.

What can I do as a volunteer?

  • To help your youth athletes meet the recommendation, aim to add 10 – 15 minutes of active time to each practice.
  • Find ways to keep athletes moving by reducing lines and wait time during practices. When possible, have them do drills in small groups. When lines are needed, teach movements they can do while waiting their turn.
  • Break up activities with frequent water breaks (as often as every 15 minutes) so the team stays hydrated.

What can I do as a parent?

  • Encourage and support your child to take part in outdoor games and activities during the summer so they’re ready for the physical conditioning that starts on the first day of practice.
  • Make sure they bring at least two full water bottles to practices and games. Plan meals and snacks to sustain their energy, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Watch out for crash dieting to reach weight categories. Rapid weight change is not recommended for anyone, especially youth.