Fuel for heart healthy activities!
When it comes to healthy eating and fueling our heart, regular movement and activity helps to improve our mood, energy level, and overall wellbeing. While walking to school and gym class are some ways for children to include movement into their day to day, many children need extra activity to meet the Canadian activity recommendations. CHAMPS Camp provides a place for heart kids to be more active in a safe, comfortable environment. Activity at CHAMPS helps to build a stronger heart, muscle strength, improve bone health, and provides opportunities to spend time with other heart kids!
How much activity does my child need?
The 24-Hour Movement Guidelines developed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology gives recommendations for daily activity and movement for children from infancy to youth (and adults too!). Take a moment to reflect on your family’s physical activity – are you meeting the recommended activity levels? When in doubt – the more activity the better. How can your family include more movement into your day?
At CHAMPS Camp we use the movement guidelines, as well as research to guide our programming. Learn more about our CHAMPS research HERE. For more information about activity guidelines for specific heart conditions, we recommend this article: CHD specific activity guidelines.
Food is fuel for activity
With physical activity or sports, snacks are important to include before and after activities to provide fuel and energy for your child’s movement and to help their bodies recover after activities.
Before activities, fuel up on foods that are rich in carbohydrates to give a boost of energy during activity. Make sure to also include a protein source. Foods that are higher in fat and fibre should be limited to help prevent stomach discomfort or stomach upset during activity. Eating a snack 1-2 hours before an activity can also help reduce stomach upsets and allow for time for digestion.
Snack ideas to try before activities:
o Sandwich prepared with whole wheat bread and with a source of protein such as turkey, chicken, egg, or tuna
o Fruit of your choice paired with low fat cheese (cheese slices or string cheese are great options)
o Greek yogurt with fruit
o Muffin with nut butter spread
After physical activity, enjoy a protein rich snack to help the body recover and re-energize. Remember to drink plenty of water to help rehydrate after physical activity.
Snack idea to try after activities:
o Apple slices and nut butter
o Yogurt parfait with granola or nuts
o Hummus and crackers or pita bread
o Banana and a glass of milk
o Trail mix, granola bars, or energy bites
o Smoothie with added protein (try Greek yogurt, nut butter, or tofu)
Have questions or need more support? Contact us to learn more!
All information provided by Kellie Guan, RD, Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.