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My Athlete Refuses to Eat Anything Healthy

At my last nutrition seminar I gave, I was asked this question: My Athlete Refuses to Eat Anything Healthy, What should I do?

Another way this might pertain to you is this: my athlete hasn’t eaten anything all day (sick, emotional, busy, etc.) Should I let them practice today?

This is a tough question for me, because I love to see athletes participating in sports and doing what they love. I also understand the importance of eating to protect yourself. So there has to be a choice that the athlete makes and it has to be clear, this is the athletes choice.

As with all decisions in life, there are good consequences and bad consequences. If your young athlete decides to eat properly and eat the healthy food given to them, then they can go to practice and enjoy having fun and staying healthy.

But if they decide not to eat the food given to them, the result is they are not allowed to attend practice. It’s their choice, but they’re to important to the family to go to practice and get hurt. Especially with a sport like football, where an athlete is battling against 200 or 300 pound opponents, or gymnastics, where young athletes are running full speed at a fixed object (vault) and having to hurl themselves through the air. These are just two examples, but every sport can be dangerous if an athletes mind isn’t fully engaged because they are not fully fueled.

This isn’t an easy decision to make as a parent. If you can sneak the nutrition into their diets, this is good enough, and you can use this technique found here. If not, it is going to have to come down to your athletes decision to be fueled or to not participate.

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Do you allow your athlete to participate even if they haven't eaten protective foods all day?