The thing about food for active kids

Food is a never-ending thing for families, isn’t it.  It actually registers pretty high on my radar of late, what with hockey- and gymnastics season started. Seems kids want to eat pretty much all the time, and most often they want snacks.

But, as I’m learning through research and inspiring recipe-googling, I discovered that

Food is a Science

Did you know that? These days, feeding a kid is a scientific endeavor not to be taken lightly. Especially a kid who is in athletics and has needs that go beyond daily nutrition.

I can’t just cook any old meal. This isn’t the 80s anymore where I could dish out pasta prior to an activity four to five times a week. In fact, if my kid eats a plate of spaghetti and then has a hard hockey practice, or worse, a competitive hockey game, I can visibly see him slow down by the third period.

The heavy-on-the-carbs, especially refined carbs, meals prior to a sporting event are making my boy tired. What he needs is protein, and lots of it. And complex carbs, not white flour sugary stuff.

This is why I’m spending so much time fretting about food.

So, today, I decided to make hummus from dried chickpeas. The chickpeas are currently boiling in water, and when they’re soft I’ll make them into hummus with lots of garlic, fresh lemon, and maybe even a bit of cilantro. I’ll post the recipe below.

They can dip veggies, or rice crackers in hummus and get some much-needed energy boost prior to an activity.

Helps me to keep up with my own nutritional energy needs too. 🙂 I quite like hummus as a spread on a sandwich, for example.

The other thing I do for my kids is make them home-made chocolate milk. For Benjamin, I sometimes reach for Homo milk, which is higher in fat and more appropriate for that skinny, hard-playing hockey kid of mine. I use a Fair-Trade Organic chocolate powder that is either unsweetened or semi-sweet and he doesn’t seem to have a problem with the taste not being so super sweet.

We can’t reach for the store-bought chocolate milk, the ingredient list doesn’t appeal to us.

Sonja in the meantime has asked for chocolate milk too, after her hockey, and especially after gymnastics. There are worse things to eat or drink after a workout, and supplementing their milk drink with a banana will give them better nutrition than that electric-blue coloured artificially flavoured and sweetened energy drink they love so much.

As I’m documenting nutrition for athletic kids in my blog, I’m thinking beyond today and wonder how this will affect us when Benjamin reaches the teenage years. I hear that teenaged boys inhale gigantic amounts of food…will I require a second fridge? I currently think a second fridge would certainly serve its purpose right now, only we don’t have the space for it.

So yeah, food is always on my mind.

Homemade Hummus from dried chick peas

I use a blender to make my homemade hummus, but a food processor, or even a hand blender, will do too.

hummus ingredients

Ingredients

1 cup chickpeas (or a 14 oz can of chickpeas, drained but liquid reserved)
1-2 cloves garlic (or more if you like the garlic taste)
1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp cumin seeds (optional, or less if you want just a hint)
pink of chili powder
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

If using dried chickpeas, place in pot of water (do not add salt) and boil, with lid closed, until soft (approximately 45 minutes). Drain and reserve liquid to use in blender. Let cool before adding to blender.

Place all ingredients and a small amount of the reserved liquid from the chickpeas into the blender. If too thick, add more liquid.

For smoother appearance than in my picture above, blend longer.

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