and DIETETICS.
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The young athlete has greater nutritional requirements than the recommended daily intake for a person of the same age who does no sustained physical activity (refer to the article "quantitative and qualitative energy requirements").
Practising a sport during periods of growth increases the requirements in vitamins, minerals and proteins. A balanced and varied diet, however, will meet these requirements quite easily (there is no need for food supplements).

5 meals will be taken every day (breakfast, snack at 10 o'clock, lunch, snack at 4 o'clock and dinner).

You should take a good breakfast with at least 1 dairy product + starchy foods or cereals + 1 fruit or fruit juice.
The snacks may each consist of a dairy product plus starchy foods or cereals e.g. rice or semolina cake or corn flakes or bread and cheese, etc.
Each main meal (lunch and dinner) must contain 1 portion of vegetables + 1 portion of starchy food.
    A balanced meal consists of:
    • 1 raw vegetables and/or fruit
    • 1 protidic dish
    • 1 dairy product
    • 1 starchy food
    • 1 fat in suitable quantity (alternate between vegetable and animal origin).

Theprotein intake must represent about 2.5 g/kg/d. Proteins play a direct role in growth.

Correct hydration is vital since water fixes the proteins required for growth. Children should be taught to drink pure water and not over-sweetened soda drinks.

Dairy products are essential in the diet of the young athlete in periods of growth since they play a major role in bone growth and strength.

The intake in certain vitamins must be strictly controlled.
Vitamin C, which contributes to immune protection, is present in fruit and fresh vegetables.
Vitamin D, required to prevent rickets, is present in milk, butter, cheese and egg yolk.
The group B vitamins (especially B1, B2, B6) play an active role in growth; they are present in whole cereals, cocoa, oleaginous products, meat and fish.

Minerals, especially magnesium and calcium in the young athlete, require special attention.
Magnesium is present in cereals, fresh vegetables, dry vegetables and chocolate.
Calcium is present in milk and dairy products which must be consumed in large quantities.

The young athlete requires regular medical supervision.
Close attention must be paid to the growth curve. Any growth anomaly detected must be taken seriously and dealt with immediately, since it is a symptom of a problem which may have serious repercussions:
  • The food intake may be insufficient to cover the true requirements related to intensive physical activity.
  • The training and/or competition load may be too high or unsuitable in view of the physiological condition of the young athlete.
We can never say enough that:

A balanced and varied diet 
will meet all your nutritional requirements.