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Challenge: Start Today: Healthy Habits

How do you teach a student athlete to eat well?

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I have two boys who make very different food choices. My oldest doesn't drink pop, eats every type of food imaginable and bemoans the fact that he can't get good produce in his college cafeteria. My youngest would live on goldfish and pretzels if we let him. The problem is that my youngest is a high school soccer player so he needs to make better food choices. How do I make that happen?

During his high school soccer season he went straight from school to a two-hour practice or game. It was a challenge to pack the most nutrient dense lunch we could think of - and that he would eat - and find a healthy snack that he could eat right after school that wouldn't weigh him down. Even now, during his club soccer season where he practices three times a week and plays at least two games a week, it is difficult to figure out what he should be eating to stay strong and healthy.

So, here are my questions: first, what are the best food options for student athletes (especially a pre-practice snack) and second, how do I get him to make those choices on his own. He likes helping me prep meals but left on his own he won't reach in to the fridge and grab fruit or yogurt or cheese and crackers, he will grab a slice of bread or hit the pantry for a few handfuls of dried cereal. Even having pre-cut apples and snack size peanut butter containers seems like too much effort for him to assemble on his own (although if I put out apples and peanut butter he will happily eat them). In a couple of years he will be off to college and, although I won't know what he's eating (unless he develops scurvy from his all white bread diet), I would really like if he would eat something other than pretzels and granola bars.

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