Monday, September 29, 2008

Fueling Kids For Sports

(NAPSI)-Whether going all out for the soccer team or training for a dance performance, the energy needs of kids and teens are generally greater than adults. After all, they need nutrition for growth as well as sports performance and that energy largely comes from the foods they consume.

Nutritious snacks that fuel the body for activity go a long way to helping young athletes perform at their best. Portable snacks before and after exercise to achieve a sustained energy boost are as close as your pantry.

Sun-Maid Growers of California have made it especially easy for on-the-go families with a variety of premeasured boxes of Sun-Maid Natural Raisins and soon with new single-serve packages of golden raisins and dried cranberries. Each box is about 90 calories, an ideal serving size for a quick energy boost for older kids and teens.

For very active sports such as football, basketball, hockey and soccer, keeping young athletes fueled before and after practice is essential. That's not always easy when racing to the field after school. The answer can come from this on-the-go snack. Protein from the nuts, whole grains and raisins for energy, and a touch of sweetness from honey are what make granola cups great for a pre- or postgame treat. For more dried fruit recipe ideas, visit www.sunmaid.com.

On-The-Go Granola Cups

1¾ cups old-fashioned oats

¼ cup finely chopped pecans

¼ cup finely chopped almonds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

½ cup maple syrup or honey

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup Sun-Maid Fruit Bits or Natural Raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers.

Spread oats, nuts and seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Combine syrup or honey, butter, egg white and vanilla in large bowl. Add raisins or fruit bits and toasted mixture; stir well. Spoon 1/3 cup mixture into each muffin cup and pack firmly using bottom of flat measuring cup.

Bake 40 minutes until well browned. Cool completely in pan. Makes 12 cups. Store in airtight container.

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