FORM THE FOUNDATION
The most important thing to help children develop healthy habits is to lead by example and be a good role model. Children learn their health habits from their parents and other significant adults in their lives (i.e., teachers and coaches).
If adult role models eat a variety of healthy foods and stay active, children are more likely to be physically active and eat healthful foods.
- Boys 6-9
- Girls 6-8
- Snow Stars 1-5
- Club Level
- Local Club and Inter-club skill events
10 to 11 hours per day.
+ 30-minute nap between 2 pm and 4 pm.
- Maintain a regular sleep and nap routine.
- Ensure a comfortable sleep environment.
- Establish independent sleep initiating behaviors.
- Observe sleep for sleep disorders.
- Establish a neutral sleep pattern between 7:30 pm and 6:30 am.
- Encourage predictable afternoon nap or rest.
- Establish regular meal routines (breakfast is the most important meal of the day).
- Reinforce 15 to 30-minute bedtime routine.
- Avoid stimulation 1 to 2 hours before bed, control "screen time."
- Proper nutrition and meal routines reinforce sleep routines.
- Introduce independent sleep initiating behaviors.
The use of a simple evaluation at the end of the day can be used to measure the level of enjoyment experienced during the ski day.
Coaches should end the ski day with a fun activity, and some light stretches.
Parents should have a light snack and water available at the end of the training session.
Creation of a post-ski day routine aids young skiers in the development of a relaxation routine in preparation for a good night's sleep.
A well-fueled skier will have the nutrients and energy they need to grow and participate in skiing.
Here's an example of what skiers at this stage should aim to intake, but it's most important to find out what foods your skier needs explicitly to function and perform at their best.
- Five servings of vegetables and fruit (i.e., one apple = 1 serving)
- Four servings of grain products (i.e., 250mL brown rice = 2 servings)
- Two servings of milk and alternatives (i.e., 250mL milk = 1 serving)
- One serving of meat and alternatives (i.e., 75g lean beef = 1 serving)
- Intake a small amount of fat
- Drink water
STEPS TO HEALTHY EATING
Eat meals as a family and use Canada's Food Guide to help you plan healthy meals that the family can eat together.
Plan and pack healthy meals and snacks to take to the ski hill to eat after skiing.
Skiers need to hydrate and refuel as soon as possible after skiing.
Planning meals ahead of time helps to ensure you have all the ingredients to prepare a healthy meal in your allotted time frame. Busy schedules make it essential to plan healthy meals.
Trust your young skier’s appetite. Trust that your young skier knows how much they need to eat.
Encourage young skiers to listen and respond to their signals of hunger and fullness. During growth spurts, young skier’s may eat more. When they are growing slowly, they may eat less.
Create an environment that supports healthy eating and encourage young skiers to become more aware of their hydration and water intake.
Cold climates can be just as dehydrating as hot and dry climates. Young skiers should be encouraged to drink slightly sweetened tea or warm Gatorade from a thermos, Gatorade should be mixed with 1/2 water and 1/2 Gatorade to reduce excess sugar intake while still providing a beverage that will aid in hydration and electrolyte replacement.
Health Canada - Canada's Food Guide
Dieticians of Canada Raising Healthy Kids
Raising Our Healthy Kids is a series of short 60 – 90-second videos providing information to parents and care providers on healthy growth and development of children up to 12 years of age.
Many common factors can pre-dispose a skier to injury.
- Skiing while fatigued and not taking enough breaks for rest or stopping when tired. Breaks do not need to be long in duration at the Skier Essentials stage but should be intermittent during the training day.
- Skiing outside of the appropriate level of challenge and comfort zone of the skier. The level of challenge is dependent on the skier’s current technical and physical capabilities or inabilities. Exposing skiers to activities significantly higher than their abilities can result in frustration, failure, a decline in motivation, and possible injury.
- Skiers should be well rested, hydrated and fueled before arriving at training. Proper hydration and nutrition throughout the day will decrease the risk of injury.
- Changing snow conditions can affect young skiers. Check in frequently to see how they feel about the terrain and snow conditions.
- The proper introduction to the activity and skills ahead of the training session.
- A warm-up that includes supervised physical fitness movement preparation.
- Well, planned skill progression is matching the skill and development age of the skier.
- A proper cool down.
Prevent injuries with adequately adjusted ski equipment. Poorly functioning, poorly fitting, or improperly adjusted equipment can cause more harm than good. Preventative equipment such as helmets can prevent head injuries.
Coaches and parents play an essential role in educating young skiers about safe skiing practices. Understanding, demonstrating and teaching the alpine skier responsibility code to young skiers can help to avoid accidents.
Young skiers can become cold quickly; it's best to dress skiers in layers and take frequent short breaks. Check-in with the skier to ensure they are warm throughout the day. Hand warmers, food snacks, and hot chocolate help to keep young skiers warm and happy when skiing.
Maintaining BalanceRaising active children in today's busy world can be challenging. Family time and being engaged with your children at this stage assists with creating the habit to be physically active for life.
Maintaining a balanced family life that fosters the development of healthy habits includes:
- Scheduling family time and activities where the family can be active together.
- Ensure that everyone in the family has time for rest and regeneration.
- Find a balance between school, sports, and encourage multisport exposure.
- Allow for social "play" time with other children in a supervised but unstructured environment like the park playground.
- When children begin to participate in a more structured sports program, parents should become involved through volunteer activities at their child's local club.