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Game Day Smoothies For Little Athletes

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Smoothies for athletes. Stock photo.

by Carmen Greger

As Lakeland youth athletes begin to speckle the fall football and soccer fields plus the cross-country trails and tennis courts, like cardiovascular conditioned confetti, it’s important to keep in mind that action-packed schedules, multi-tasking skills, time management expertise, sustained energy levels and optimal nutrition are all vital and unfortunately often at odds.

When it’s time for empowered play, instead of scarfing down a Snickers bar, fast food takeout, or a PB&J, try making some scrumptious, satisfying, and invigorating smoothies!

Prep to pour takes but a matter of minutes, and, Voila’, you have created a crowd-pleasing masterpiece; a nutrient-dense, performance-enhancing tasty treat that’s readily digestible, and really packed with a punch!  Perfect for what these ambitious athletes need, deserve and will be sure to cheer about!

Smoothies are a great option when you need to get to the field quick after work. File photo of Lakeland youth football practice.

You can certainly pre-make and freeze individual servings, if your busy schedule recommends that it’s better to batch for multiple game days.  If so, I find it’s simple and most effective to freeze in ice trays, as the blender seems to appreciate and prefer the frozen cube to an 8 oz cylinder.

There are countless quick, family-friendly blended-boost recipes for athletes and their ‘Uber’ busy parents-on-the-go that can be found with the click of a mouse, and truly, once you understand the basics, a lot of the ‘perfecting it’ is a personalization process, and much like many things in life, includes trial-and-error and season-to-taste.

Kids’ Go-To:
Frozen Strawberries
Frozen Mango
Frozen Blueberries
Frozen Bananas (slice fresh and store in freezer one inch pieces for best results)
Almond Butter (raw, unsalted)
Hemp Milk
Honey
Mango, Green Juice, OJ (or Other)
Plant Protein & Greens Powder (we use Garden of Life, but there are lots of options around!)
Toss in the Vitamix and blend until ‘smooth’ie.

You can easily substitute any frozen fruits of your choice, such as pineapple, raspberries, peaches, and you can buy pre-packaged or fresh and freeze on your own.  Adding frozen avocado, spinach or kale are also great options! (I have a handful of Mom-Friends that lovingly and sneakily slam dunk a few frozen brussels into the blend for an undetected extra dose of fiber to move things along). And nut-butters can be swapped or eliminated as well, but if there is no sensitivity or allergy, the protein is powerful, energy sustaining, blood sugar stabilizing and appetite satisfying, so I suggest add if/when you can.

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