Sports Nutrition for Kids

Sports Nutrition for Kids & Teens

Dr. Jacqueline Winkelmann shares her top tips so you can fuel your young athlete for success!

by Steve Silvestro, MD  @zendocsteve


“At the most elite level, your nutrition becomes a lifestyle: it’s not just something you have to do when you’re preparing for Olympic games or World Cup games—you just do it. You’re more inclined to eat healthier because it’s better for your muscles.” 

—Olympic Gold Medalist and World Cup Champion Abby Wambach

What Wambach is saying isn’t just true of athletes competing at an Olympic level—in fact, it’s even more true for our kids.

Think about it:

No matter what time of year it is, it’s almost always a sports season for your child. Whether they’re playing multiple sports throughout the year, or one sport all year long, many of today’s kids are full-time athletes.

And when you consider that our kids are also constantly growing, changing, and learning, it’s clear that we parents need to make sure that we give them the fuel they need for success.

My guest today is on a mission to do exactly that.

Jacqueline Winkelmann, MD, known as “Doctor Jacq,” has been a hospital-based pediatrician at CHOC Children’s of Orange County for 17 years, and most recently Chief of Staff at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital. She has won multiple awards, including the Physician of Excellence award and Top Pediatrician Award by the International Association of Pediatricians. She is the mother of 2 competitive young athletes, and in 2014, she founded Doctor Jacq: Nutrition Coach for Young Athletes. She consults with sports teams and offers team talks as well as private sports nutrition coaching. She has spoken to thousands of parents, coaches and young athletes and she is a national and international speaker. Doctor Jacq Blogs regularly on her website,

And in this episode, she gives you the low-down on how to fuel your young athlete for success.

Take a listen on your favorite podcast app or in the player below:


“I’m on a mission to teach kids their food is fuel.

– Dr. Jacqueline Winkelmann


In This Episode, We Talk About:

  • The foundation of sports nutrition for kids
  • At what activity level parents need to begin adapting their kids’ diet
  • What threshold of junk food is “okay”
  • The surprising nutrient that’s most important for your young athlete
  • The ideal diet for your athletic child—from days before an event, to the day of and for recovery
  • How to hydrate better
  • Healthy sources of carbs
  • Whether or not chocolate milk really is a good post-workout food
  • Sports drinks alternatives
  • The lowdown on supplements— Do your kids need them? Are there some you should avoid?
  • My thoughts on the problem with nutritional studies
  • What to do when your child constantly says: “I’m hungry!”
  • …and a whole lot more!

Scroll up to the player above to listen, or hear it on your favorite podcast app!

Tag me on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or LinkedIn, and let me know what you think about my conversation with Dr. Jacq!


Recipe: Pre- (or Post-) Game Banana Mini Muffins

Original Post: here
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
12 Muffins



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare muffin or mini muffin pan with cupcake liner or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil and honey.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  5. Mix in flour mixture into coconut oil/honey mixture until smooth.
  6. Fold in greek yogurt, mashed bananas (or anything else) and nuts, if using.
  7. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin/mini muffin pans, fill 2/3 full.
    8. Bake for 15-20 minutes for regular sized muffins and 10-15 minutes for mini muffins or until a toothpick comes out clean.


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Sports Nutrition for Kids