Fuelling your little cubs swimming adventures with Christianna, EatHappyFeelGood and BEAR Snacks.

If you’ve ever seen a baby or child in water you’ll know that once they get comfortable, it’s truly one of their happy places. It’s a fun and natural place for them to be, and it’s also hugely beneficial for their overall health.   

The benefits of swimming for your cubs 

Research shows that contact with water, even from birth, is beneficial for child development. Specifically swimming, can positively influence infant development. Regularly participating in swimming has both physical and cognitive benefits for babies and children, and has been shown to have a positive effect on general gross and fine motor skills, visual motion perception and cognitive flexibility. Infancy and childhood are a time of enormous physical and brain development so incorporating activities like swimming during these formative years is a wonderful thing to do.  

In addition, swimming is a brilliant form of physical exercise for little ones (and grownups) because it engages almost all muscle groups in the body. This is just one of the reasons it’s so beneficial but it also means its very energy demanding. To help our little ones get the most out of their swimming, we need to make sure we fuel them properly – both before and after.  

Nourishing your cub for their swimming adventures 

Optimal nutrition for swimming involves high carbohydrate availability because carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. So ideally, around 20 to 30 minutes before swimming we want to give children a high carbohydrate snack. I recommend just a snack, rather than anything too filling; we want to provide enough fuel to happily get the most out of their swimming session without overloading their tummies and digestive systems with a big meal. Exact quantities will vary hugely, depending on age and your individual child’s nutrient needs and appetite.  

BEAR snacks are the perfect choice for a pre swimming snack. They are high in carbohydrates and contain only natural sugars because they are made with 100% fruit! This will give your cubs the energy to enjoy their swim while fuelling their little muscles. Research has shown that providing sufficient energy from carbohydrates is especially important during periods of growth and development such as infancy and childhood.  

Post swimming sufficiency  

It’s also a good idea to make sure to have some food soon after swimming to refuel and keep them happy. They will have used up a lot of energy in a short time and although appetite is usually suppressed during the activity, it can considerably increase soon after. Childrens metabolic rate is much higher than adults’ so they need to be replenished more frequently than we do. So after an activity like swimming, it is a good time to give them something more substantial, filling and nutritionally complete. Ideally it should still include carbohydrates, a source of protein and some healthy fats.  

As a nutritionist and mum, I love to include BEAR snacks as the fun sweet element of this meal and I feel good knowing I’m giving them something they love and feels like a treat but contains only wholesome ingredients.  

Your swimming journey starts with Water Babies! 

Water Babies welcome babies from  birth and at this age babies get all the nutrition they need from milk (breast or formula). Weaning is recommended to start at around 6 months which means we can begin to introduce more solid foods. Fruit contains those all-important carbohydrates and natural sugars that is the perfect energy giving fuel for swimming. Serve in a form that is age appropriate such as steamed, pureed, chopped etc.  

Once they turn 2, BEAR have delicious fun snacks suitable for every age, starting with BEAR Little Paws appropriate for 2+, the BEAR range is made with 100% natural ingredients – fruit, vegetables and a little bit of fun.   

You can find BEAR snacks fruit Treasures and Paws in your local supermarkets and online retailers.  

Visit the BEAR snacks website here.

Find out more about BEAR’S Nutritionist, Christianna here : https://www.instagram.com/christianna.nutritionist/

Research references:  

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