By Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN | Thursday, April 19, 2018
I’m often asked what is the “best” food for young swimmers. My response? A sandwich! Sandwiches are easy to make, taste great, portable, and can supply carbohydrate, protein, and fat – nutrients needed by young swimmers.
What makes a truly great sandwich? In one survey, 42% of people said the bread is most important ingredient in a sandwich. Yet, I hear from many parents that they think they should eliminate bread, wrongly assuming it contributes to empty calories.
Yanni Papanikoloau, a researcher from Toronto, Canada studied the contribution that grain foods, including both whole- and enriched-grain breads, made to nutrient intakes.
He found that grain foods, including breads, contributed less than 15% of all calories in the total diet, while delivering nutrients that are in short supply in the diet of many young folks, including dietary fiber, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A. (Insert link http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/2/160/htm). As Mr. Papanikoloau put it, “bread is made out to be the villain, but maybe it’s the stuff they hang out with!”
So, how do you build a better sandwich? Here are some ideas that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks to fuel an active swimmer. Mix and match to find your favorite combination.
|Choose a Bread||Choose a Protein||Choose a Topping|
|Whole Grain Pita Pocket||Peanut Butter||Honey|
|Flour or Corn Tortilla||Scrambled Eggs||Ketchup or Salsa|
|Whole Wheat Bread||Turkey & Cheese||Mustard|
|Enriched White Bread||Tuna Fish||Mayonaise|
|Enriched Rye Bread||Ham||Dijon Mustard|
|Sourdough Bread||Chicken Salad||Avacado|
|Ciabatta Roll||Turkey Salad||Cranberry Sauce|
|Burger Buns||Pulled Pork|| Cole Slaw and
|French Bread||Cheddar or
|Bagel||Egg Salad|| Thinly-Sliced
|Bagel Thin||Roasted Red
The ingredients between the slices of bread that should be the focus of delivering a healthier sandwich. All grains, both whole and enriched, are nutrient-rich and provide several important nutrients needed by young swimmers to fill muscle stores of glycogen and support growth and development.
Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN, is a nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University. She welcomes questions from swimmers, parents, and coaches at email@example.com. Visit her website at https://chrisrosenbloom.com/.