I CARE ABOUT NUTRITION, DO THEY?
A series of letters to sports parents who wrestle with feeding kids “healthy” foods. Plus a bonus guide to adding sports nutrition to a team program.
I am a mom too. The other day I gave my child a pop-tart and I wondered “what will everyone think if they knew?”
Isn't that crazy! I am as healthy as they come, a vegetable lover, and my children are great eaters (you're welcome kiddos!).
I know what some will say… you don't have to be the “Sugar Police” all the time. RELAX! It's one friggin pop tart!
But, someone else might look at my kids' pop tart snack and think… she's normally feeding her children so healthy, she must not be practicing what she preaches (this is where I imagine someone judging me harshly!).
Then I take a deep breath and remind myself that one well timed pop tart could charge up my kids performance. It's their performance that matters.
We live in a world of “good” and “bad” or “healthy” and “unhealthy” when it comes to food, but food is only the tool to feeling “good” and feeling “healthy”.
If I feed my child a healthy salad and they have no energy for their sport I don't think that's a win.
Eating for performance is more complex than eating healthy. Maybe this new idea that we can eat for performance starts with understanding that 1 pop tart could fit in a performance diet and that tart can keep a kid feeling good and being healthy.
OF COURSE there are other (ahem, more environmentally sustainable) options that we can move towards BUT we can skip the judgement and accept that you have NO IDEA what the heck one mom or dad has fed their child on any given day.
TRUE STORY TIME
Maybe on this day my child ate whole grain performance overnight oats, a fresh fruit snack in the AM, a vegan meatball and whole wheat spaghetti lunch – all bought from local farmers, all bought without wasteful packaging. And then at 4pm her grandmother handed her a pop tart and I thought – “this is the best grandma can do and she is actually providing the right energy my kids muscles need right now”, so I said “yes” when my child brought this (now famous) tart to practice.
Here's one thing we can do about this conundrum… find out what eating for performance means to you. Eating for performance is not just something to say, it is a specific RE-framing of nutrition.
It involves learning about the main powers foods have, and not focussing on shaming, and certainly not staying closed off and denying that there IS something that can be done to help kids make great choices.
Either way, I am excited to see you very soon in my empowering, judgement-free community!
Many organizations have hired me to speak to their teams. It always goes the same. I get them engaged in the session, then shove as much info as I can into their brains, and the session is over… I always walk away hoping the athletes will speak with mom and dad about what they learned.
One-time nutrition sessions ALWAYS leave the group needing more guidance, so I end up hoping mom and dad can afford private nutrition consulting or the team continues to invest in regular nutrition talks.
Here is what doesn't work about hiring someone for a one-time nutrition talk:
Start small, and everyone will SEE the incredible results and WANT TO DO THE SAME.
In other words, first create a snowball before building a snowman
Incredibly, many parents think that other people don't care or have no business caring about the nutrition of others.
Those same people will turn around and plan tournament meals, bring shareable practice snacks, purchase food for pot luck celebrations… etc.
In effect, closed off people have a good chance of feeding your athlete.
It's a frustrating place to be if you are someone open to learning and implementing great food strategies.
Here is where the snowball idea comes into play.
In order to change the minds of an entire team we need to first start with a small group who is willing to think differently.
The “group think” effect is powerful. In 1962 Solomon Asch conducted a study so powerful it sticks in my mind 20 years after I was told about it. It's called “The elevator study”.
… a group of people get into an elevator and face the wrong way.
What happens next?
The innocent person who enters the elevator on the next floor enters a situation where they know better BUT the pressure from the group all doing something else pushes them to do something they know is, well, backwards! Watch this video to see it in action!
Ready to create your team snowball?
The ingredients to create a nutrition snowball are YOU, a team coach, and 3 other families interested recipe ideas and performance nutrition tips for their family.
If you are ready email me at here with the subject line: Ready for a Team Snowball
The video here showcases the common struggle I see parents experiencing and the idea of this “snowman” next step:
Video learning is now proven to be our future. But, our video learning takes kids offline and into the kitchen.
We are a Disney+ of sports nutrition, if Disney+ had a magical guide, a curated community to connect with super sports families, and an intention of turning all of its listeners into high performing, fit, energized, stars!
When you have identified the core group of interested families on your team, including coach you get the fun next step.
Each group will have a unique journey.
But we know you are eager to get an idea of what it can look like so here is a fun next step you can already decide to join as a group:
A food prep challenge. We regularly offer food prep challenges to our teams and in fact here is a sneak peak at the most recent one.
The fun continues with your personal family success story or less subtly, your nutrition advantage.
With step by step guidance you arrive to the level of sports nutrition education previously reserved for elites or the wealthy.
On route you also gain access to our coveted performance menu planning system that blows the minds of all our families – they say “finally a way to feel organized about food life!
You, coach, and 3 families all commit to try this out together – the group experience combined with a fun team event will create that snowball effect!
What happens when you start this ball.
First, you realize you can learn something new in as little as 5 minutes.
Second, you realize that sports nutrition is not a diet overhaul and will be manageable for you and the entire family.
Third, and most important, you are always spending time on nutrition and we are simply showing you how to use your time better – so actually this program GIVES you back time.
Fourth, pat yourself on the back for being such an awesome parent! Because YOU ARE!!! You read to the end of this how-to and there is only one thing left to do.
Email us to get started or…..