Fueling Future Olympians

Plan ahead with snacks and activities to fuel your future Olympian during trips this summer.Helping your child eat healthy while traveling can be a challenge. Fueling Olympians and future Olympians on the go is difficult because of unfamiliar foods, lack of knowledge about the local food scene, and other factors.

Dr. Douglas N. Graham, an Olympic health trainer and coach who has worked with the likes of tennis ace Martina Navratilova, NBA star Ronnie Grandison, and professional bowler Bruce Hamilton, counsels Olympians and Olympic hopefuls on the techniques, practices, and benefits of healthy living and eating.

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Graham, who has written The 80/10/10 Diet, and lives a raw vegan lifestyle, helps his clients maintain a routine while on the road.

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"I'm not obsessed about food but I cover my bases," said Graham, who has trained a number of Olympians, including Jamaican hurdler Isa Phillips.

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Graham cites dehydration and the body's difficulty with dealing with microbes in unfamiliar locales as culprits that sometimes lead athletes and travelers to tummy trouble, which leads to poor athletic performance.

"It's not fun to go on vacation and spend it in the bathroom," said Graham.

We couldn't agree more. Graham shares, in his own words, his tips for moms to keep their all-stars well-fed and energized this summer.

Credit: iStockphoto / ThinkstockSnack Plan of Attack
Whether you are headed to the beach, the pools, or running errands, when driving with children in the car, always have snacks available. Children often get hungry with greater frequency than adults do. A contented child makes it far easier for the driver to maintain sanity and drive safely, while also reducing the number of unscheduled stops.

Credit: StockybytePack Carefully
Messy foods almost invariably end up spilling onto children's clothing and the car upholstery, so avoid these or save them for times when the car is not moving. Drinks should be in containers designed to minimize spillage.

Credit: iStockphoto / ThinkstockSnap It Up
Sealable bags and plastic containers with locking lids make car travel in the 21st century a joy, but remember to be redundant with napkins and extra cloths for accidental messes.

Credit: iStockphoto / ThinkstockKeep It Cool
The sun, air conditioning, heat, and altitude make all forms of travel dehydrating. For this reason, salty, dry, starchy snacks really are a poor choice of travel foods, even if they are convenient. Be optimistic about access to refreshments on the road, but pack a cooler and bring extra water and/or other drinks anyway. Little children sometimes have to make frequent and unexpected potty breaks. Allow for such stops when planning the timing of your trip.

Credit: iStockphoto / ThinkstockMake a Plan
For longer trips or when visiting spots unfamiliar to you, use websites to find out if there are points of interest along the way, or any other stopping points that may fit in with your family's interests. Knowing what the food options are along the way helps the family keep on track.

Credit: iStockphoto / ThinkstockChoose Wisely
There's nothing worse than being sick while on the road, except perhaps being "sick" in the car. Instill the rule that you always start every meal with the healthiest of intentions, focusing on fruits and vegetables as the best travel foods.

Credit: iStockphoto / ThinkstockHave Sweet Dreams
More than half of all traffic accidents have been related to driver tiredness. Be sure to plan in sufficient rest stops. It is easy to pack too much into a trip, and travel always makes you tired. Allow for plenty of time to sleep and enjoy the trip.

Credit: iStockphoto / ThinkstockGet Moving
Travel tends to be extremely sedentary. Kids need to move, often, and it is just as important that parents are active. Bring a ball, a Frisbee, and appropriate clothing so that you are sure to be active while on the road. Be willing to stop at roadside stands to taste locally grown fruits, nuts, corn, or other special treats.

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- Lauren Mack, The Daily Meal

More from The Daily Meal:
How to Eat Like an Olympian on the Road