Matt Robinson, the blogger and father of three behind Real Food By Dad, really knows the ins and outs of feeding growing young athletes. His secret weapon? Milk.
If your family includes young athletes, back-to-school season is about more than pencils, books, and new class schedules. It’s also the time of year to start thinking about away games, weekend tournaments, and of course, those daily after-school practices. Balancing all of this is a lot for anyone to manage—and we’re not just talking about the time commitment. Meeting the nutritional needs of student athletes is basically a part-time job in itself.
Matt Robinson, the blogger and father of three behind Real Food By Dad, really knows the ins and outs of feeding growing young athletes. His secret weapon? Milk. Its perfect blend of proteins, fats, carbs, essential vitamins, and minerals basically makes it the original sports drink (plus, most kids love milk—which, as all parents know, is roughly 80% of any given nutritional battle.) Matt’s favorite pro tip: keep regular white milk and chocolate milk on hand at all times. White milk is excellent for nutritious breakfasts and pre-game meals, while chocolate milk is an unmatched recovery beverage.
Fuel Up with White Milk
A nutritious breakfast is an absolute must for all students, and especially for student athletes. When it comes to the most important meal of the day, milk just makes sense. It contains 13 essential nutrients, including protein and vitamins A, D, and B12, as well as healthy carbs and important minerals like calcium. These nutrients aid in muscle repair and hydration, while also helping kids build strong bones and immune systems—exactly what you want when feeding active young people.
Matt’s Tropical Bliss Smoothie is the perfect start to any busy day. It combines frozen pineapple and peaches with lactose-free milk and orange juice for a super quick—and super delicious—breakfast beverage. Serve it with a quick egg sandwich, frozen waffles, a yogurt bowl, or whatever else your kids like to eat in the morning.
Recover Like a Pro with Chocolate Milk
After a big game or exhausting practice, proper recovery is everything—and chocolate milk has everything tired muscles need to bounce back. Of course, it has all the protein and nutrients of regular milk, but the sugar and salt that make our chocolate milk taste so good also add an extra dose of carbs and electrolytes that aid in recovery and hydration. (fun fact: Chocolate milk actually rehydrates tired bodies better than water!)
One of the best ways to enjoy chocolate milk is in Matt’s Chocolate PB Protein Smoothie. Made with low-fat chocolate milk, peanut butter, banana, and honey, this smoothie tastes like a peanut butter cup and packs a serious nutritional punch—especially if you add the optional vanilla protein powder. Toss a few ingredients in the blender and in a minute or two you’ll have the perfect recovery beverage, best enjoyed on the couch with an ice pack.