For Parents Nutrition for Gymnasts when training through evening meal times?

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Feb 7, 2022

So my child (8) often has a 5-10 minute turn around from getting home from school to leaving for gymnastics (say home from school at 3:25 and gym starts at 4, so barley time to get changed and shovel some food in on the way (which i imagine hasnt settle properly before warm ups) and then trains until 8pm (with a snack break) this is 3-4 nights a week.

We are doing our best to make sure she is fed well but we need some advice and tips to help make sure she is getting adequte meals and nutrition for a growing body and for all that training. - What do you all do? Any tips welcome!

Thank you in advance!
Quick snacks my DD eats on the way to and during snack break:
* Smoothies (when it's hot outside)
* Greek yogurt with berries
* Homemade mini muffins
* Cut fruit or fruit cup/squeeze pouch
*Turkey or almond butter & jam sandwich
* Cheese crackers or a cracker/"gorp"-type mix
*Cucumber strips with dip
* Sometimes I find reasonably healthy packaged snacks that I stick in her bag for a sweet treat - cookies, pudding, etc.

Now, my DD is a birdlike eater and our ride to practice is about 20 min, so quick and easy is key. I sometimes do hot foods in a thermos. Little bit of soup/chili, pasta, meatballs, or a one pot or skillet meal. Usually leftovers from dinners past, LOL. She eats dinner at home, but she's not usually starving after practice.
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our daughter has about 30 min. We prep a protein and veggie meal. Usually a hamburger, stir fry, grilled chicken and some veggies. Essentially Dinner at 330pm. Then she has a yogurt and grapes/carrots at snack at the gym Then a yummy dessert when she gets home.

When its even tighter - she gets a roll, yogurt drink and some crackers for the car ride with a yogurt, carrots for snack. We'll followup when she gets home with steakems or chicken nuggets.
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My daughter will have a hot meal straight from school (at 4ish) ready for practice at 5. She doesn’t seem to complain of feeling too full. She has a snack of fruit or breakfast bar during gym.
One of her friends like your daughter has a tight turnaround so she snacks on the way to practice on fruit and a protein bar and has a late meal- this seems to work fine for her. She does have a hot meal at school to fill up so don’t know if that makes a difference.
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This has been a concern of mine for years and somehow my kids always seem to do just fine and are never nearly as hungry as i think they should be!

That said, over the years we have gone through many phases of car-ride snacks including:
greek yogurt mini-muffins
protein snack packs (cheese, nuts, dark chocolate or dried fruit)
PB and honey sandwich cut bite sized to avoid mess in my car
turkey sausage links
crackers and chicken salad
We do a lunchbox in the car on the way for my 6yo who trains 4-6. She couldn't make it through the practice without food!

She is vegan (not us, just her - she's a very determined little person!) so a typical box would probably be:

A bagel with almond butter
Vegetable crisps (she likes green bean ones)
A mini malt loaf
Fruit smoothie
Apple or orange

She eats some of it before and finishes it on the way home!
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We used to do that. A snack box/ lunch box with stuff like oat biscuits/ bars, fruit, raisins, cake, etc. what she felt like eating changed month by month. She ate some on the way and some on the way back or at breaks. She never really fancied hot stuff before. We sometimes got a KFC on way home. Or just toast or cereal before bed when it was late.
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My DD will drink in extra calories if she can't eat quick enough like protein shakes or even chocolate milk. Doesn't replace a meal, but does give her a little more fuel.
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Our problem is that in a gym session from 4.30 to 8.30 our gymnasts are allowed water only - no snacks. So you need fuel in the car journey from school to gym - but not so much that it feels heavy when you start with a long cardio session. By 8.30 you get a very hungry gymnast however you plan it.
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Mine is 6. I drive her straight from school to practice and she has an hour between when school lets out and when practice starts. She usually has a dried fruit bar, a sliced apple or peeled orange, and a hard boiled egg or a beef stick on the way there. On the way home, it’s only a 35 minute drive but she eats a hot dinner in the car because she can’t stay up long enough to eat and shower at home. I mostly rotate meals like below depending on what she has on the school lunch menu. I use 3 separate thermoses, one for protein, one for starch, and one for vegetables. It’s going to stop eventually because it’s a lot of work, but for now it’s important to me that she eat a “real” dinner even if she’s in the car. The bonus is that the rest of us have a dinner that’s ready when we get home and are tired.

-chicken tenders, roasted potatoes, and a cooked green vegetable
-Italian sausage, peppers and onions with roasted potatoes
-breakfast for dinner: French toast or tiny pancakes, sausage or bacon
-tofu, rice and stir-fry vegetables
-penne with meat sauce, cut up raw vegetables, and bread or crescent rolls
-hamburger patties with mushroom and onions and a green vegetable

Sometimes she gets home and is still hungry and will have toast or yogurt.
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When do all of your children do homework?! My daughter is dyslexic and her homework can take a while... it has been a bit of a struggle to fit it in before practice and after practice she is too tired.
When do all of your children do homework?! My daughter is dyslexic and her homework can take a while... it has been a bit of a struggle to fit it in before practice and after practice she is too tired.
Luckily my daughter is only 6.5 so doesn’t get much at the moment but what she does get she does on her two evenings off. I’ve tried doing after she gets back from gym but she’s just so tired it’s impossible! Will be interested too in how others manage.
I have a middle schooler, and homework can be tricky. She practices 3 days a week, 9 hours total. Some homework is done during break at gym. Many of the girls do this. Some nights she does not have homework, but I encourage her to review certain subjects after shower/dinner (doesn't always happen - she's a tween, after all). Some work is done at home, and she's had a couple late nights, but it's rare. She's even done some work in the morning before school.

I've really been working with DD on organizing her work and being more responsible. Also been working on time management strategies, because she tends to procrastinate. It's a work in progress but we manage. Not sure what changes will be made as gym days/hours increase (if she chooses to keep going).
When do all of your children do homework?! My daughter is dyslexic and her homework can take a while... it has been a bit of a struggle to fit it in before practice and after practice she is too tired.
After practice by us! we're home by 9 usually so they have an hour or so. They try to do as much as poss on sundays. one of my DDs often gets up early to finish her homework
When do all of your children do homework?! My daughter is dyslexic and her homework can take a while... it has been a bit of a struggle to fit it in before practice and after practice she is too tired.
In the car ....we had 2 hours up and 1.5-2 hours back...I rode with the lights on on the way home to facilitate it
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Re: the homework question- mine is at a school that doesn’t have homework until 4th grade, and even then it is pretty light. 2nd and 3rd grade have occasional reading or math homework sheets, but nothing that would take more than 30 minutes.
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