Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players, Parents and Coaches

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Cover_FeedingTheYoungAthlete17 jpeg.png

Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players, Parents and Coaches


by Cynthia Lair with Scott Murdoch, Ph.D, RD

Age Range: 12+
Paperback: $15.95, ISBN 978-0998436623

Release Date: September 26, 2017 (2nd Edition)

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Practice is only part of a winning sports strategy. Whole foods need to be in the playbook to boost an athlete’s energy, endurance and focus both on and off the field. 

What to eat to maximize performance? When to eat on game day? How much to drink for proper hydration? Where to eat on the road? These are vital questions young athletes parents and coaches face every day while trying to refuel on the run. 

In this new third edition, Cynthia Lair, nutrition and culinary professor, and Dr. Scott Murdoch, registered dietitian and triathlete, combine essential eating guidelines with 33 terrific recipes for nutritious delicious meals and snacks. Feeding the Young Athlete serves up the perfect game plan for improving performance and establishing lifelong healthy-eating habits.

Cynthia Lair is a nutrition and culinary professor and author of the popular cookbook Feeding the Whole Family now in its fourth edition. Cynthia founded the Nutrition & Culinary Arts Bachelor of Science program at Bastyr University and has been a faculty member since 1994. She is also co-creator of the humorous online cooking program www.cookus.tv and gave a TEDx talk titled “How to Cut an Onion” in 2012. Cynthia was a soccer mom for more than 14 years and remains a loyal fan of the sport. She lives in Seattle Washington.

Dr. Scott Murdoch received his Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and a doctorate in Nutrition and Human Performance. He is also a registered dietitian. Scott has over 20 years of teaching research and clinical practice in human nutrition and physical performance. In addition he has competed in more than 90 triathlons including three Ironman World Championships and played tennis professionally for 18 years. He is a proud father of two athletic boys and lives in Bend Oregon.

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Top Five Reasons to Read This Book

1) Simple do-able directions -for when and what to eat to play your best; what to shop for and pack in your bag; how to choose the most nutrient rich foods,  how to eat on the road and more.  There are short lists on EVERY page.

2) We encourage whole foods eating and cooking.  This is not a book about powders, pills and neon colored drinks.  Why young people need real food is spelled out clearly and lip-smacking recipes using those foods are plentiful.

3) Teamwork is emphasized on so many levels.  Whether we’re talking about how nutrients work together as a team, how your body and food work together as a team or how team meals can enhance camaraderie, this thread is woven throughout the book

4) Understanding how food affects body and mind is tantamount for health.  Applying better eating to sports is immediate, palpable and has the potential of affecting the way kids will eat during their whole life.

5) There’s nothing quite like this book on the market.  This book addresses a young person’s relationship to food through  their immediate concern –  wanting to play well in today’s game! And it does so in a cheerful, visually exciting way.  Go food!



“OUTSTANDING, GRADES 6-12. This attractive, contemporary, hip-looking, casual-sounding title is actually an updated edition of Lair’s 2002 title of the same name (Moon Smile Press), now out of print and generally unavailable even in libraries. This Readers to Eaters revised edition is superb and will surely motivate young athletes to be more conscious of their nutrition, make simple, immediate changes, and perhaps even keep focused for the rest of their lives on both healthy nutrition and positive athletic performance. A dynamic mix of scientific information and friendly advice, Lair offers up clarity on nearly every page. For example: “Is there anything more satisfying than cornbread? Carry a slice in your sports bag to take advantage of the post-game glycogen window.” The explanation of glycogen is given in several places and is also in the index. The recipe for cornbread follows, as do 33 more recipes. There are lists and charts such as “Eat this. Don’t eat this.” “Drink this. Don’t drink this.” “Bring this in your bag.” Many other straightforward drink-, meal-, and snack-planning tools will clarify and guide young people in taking good care of themselves. A great offering, appealing to exactly the age when people often take charge of their own health, and exemplary in its gender-neutrality. The quantity of information will impress the parents and coaches; the clarity of organization, layout, and content will ensure young readers are not overwhelmed.”
—Erica Siskind, Oakland Public Librarian, BayViews (Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California)

“Great food for our active bodies and minds. I just finished Cynthia Lair’s book and was really impressed with how much useful information she packed into a simple, readable format. The subtitle, Sports Nutrition Made Easy, is exactly right. The chapters are divided into healthy food and drink recommendations for before, during and after games and how these foods feed our bodies and minds. I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes in the last third of the book for yummy breakfasts, dinners and snacks. A great resource for parents, teens and coaches who care about easy alternatives to junk food and the nutritional reasons behind them.”
—Clare Hodgson Meeker, Author, Soccer Dreams: Playing the Seattle Sounders FC Way

“Do you struggle to feed the athletes in your family? Are you baffled when it comes to pre and post practice meal solutions? The eye catching graphics and sensible quotes caught the eyes of all my children. They sat and read the book, commenting approvingly on recipes and tips. I definitely think they digested the material as well. Thank you, Cynthia and Readers to Eaters, for a great family-friendly culinary resource!”
—Melissa A. Trainer, Al Dente, Amazon Food & Cooking Blog

“A refreshing look at fueling athletes from the inside out. Feeding the Young Athlete serves up healthy sports food ideas paired with the science behind how they improve performance. Recipes included will require a trip to the grocery store but will open your eyes (and mouth) to some adventurous new sports foods.”
—Emily Edison, Sports and Wellness Dietitian, Owner, Momentum Nutrition & Fitness