Training TipsNutritionYouth and Junior

Play With Your Food

by Susan Kitchen

As a young, active triathlete, it’s important to have a balanced diet with foods that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. Food is your fuel, and eating before and after physical activity will help you maintain energy, avoid feeling sluggish and prevent GI distress (or an upset stomach).

Here are nine fun, healthy pre- and post-workout snacks you can make yourself or with your team. 

apple krispies

Eat easy-to-digest foods and drink 12 to 20 ounces of water 60 to 90 minutes before a workout. Make time for water breaks every 15 minutes during a training session. If you’re active for more than 90 minutes, include a low-sugar sports drink to help maintain hydration. 

Peanut Butter Apple Krispies

Note: Ask an adult to help you slice the apple.


1 medium apple

2 teaspoons nut butter of your choice

Handful of Rice Krispies


1. Wash and core the apple.

2. Slice the apple to your desired thickness.

3. Spread your favorite nut butter on top of the sliced apple.

4. Sprinkle Rice Krispies cereal on top of the nut butter, and enjoy!

Frozen Banana Kabob

banana kabob

1 medium ripe banana
2 teaspoons natural peanut butter or almond butter
Saran Wrap

1. Split the banana lengthwise into two halves. Spread one half with the peanut butter.
2. Sandwich the two banana halves together and wrap the entire banana in plastic wrap. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.

Sprinkled Applesauce

4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
1. Open small pre-packaged applesauce cup.
2. Decorate with sprinkles of your choice. 

Frozen Sports Drink Cubes


Ice tray

12 ounces sports drink or fruit juice


Pour drink in ice tray. Place in freezer for 4 hours. When ready, put in sports bottle along with same drink.

Frozen Grapes


18-20 red seedless grapes


Place washed and drained seedless grapes in freezer protected bowl. Freeze up to 4 hours.

Trail Mix

trail mixIngredients


Mini pretzels

Raisins, cran-raisins or any dried fruit

Nuts (optional)

Mini marshmallows

M&M’s or mini chocolate chips (optional)


Take handfuls of each desired ingredient and place in zip-close bag. Shake to mix.

Immediately following activity, drink water, diluted fruit juice or sports drink to prevent dehydration. To restock energy stores, follow the same nutrition guidelines for pre-workout snacks while including more protein and fat.

yogurt and granola

Yogurt with Homemade Granola

Note: Ask an adult to help with the oven.

1 low-fat yogurt serving (4-5.3 ounces)

1/4 cup granola

Granola Ingredients

2 cups uncooked oatmeal

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons unflavored oil (canola oil)

1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup pecans (optional)


1. Heat oven to 275 degrees F.

2. In medium bowl, mix oatmeal, brown sugar, salt and nuts.

3. In a small microwavable cup, mix maple syrup, oil and water.

4. Heat the wet ingredients in microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until warm.

5. Slowly pour over dry ingredients while stirring until all is evenly moist.

6. Spray large cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

7. Pour granola mix evenly on cookie sheet.

8. Bake 45 minutes at 275 degrees.

9. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until cooled on cookie sheet.

10. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to two weeks.

cheese turkey crackers

Mini Turkey and Cheese Bites

Note: For non-meat eaters, cheese with crackers is a great substitute. 

1-2 ounces turkey (or meat/protein of your choice)

1 ounce cheese

3-4 crackers 


Cut meat and cheese in small squares, place on top of cracker for an open-faced cracker sandwich.

Chocolate Milk

8-16 ounces low-fat chocolate milk

Thanks to our young athletes and chefs Jay B., Kenan K. and Karsen K. for helping with the photo shoot!

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