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Fueling A Young Gymnast

When first starting the sport of gymnastics, most gymnasts are just in it for fun.

They take a rec class or 2. Learn a few cool tricks. See friends for an hour or two each week.

But then, a coach invites them to join the team. They've been hand picked as someone with a lot of strength, flexibility, and natural talent.

Soon, gymnastics becomes something you're doing 3, 4, 5 days a week, for 3 or 4 hours each day. You're learning routines and planning for competitions. Things change so quickly!

As a former gymnast myself, if there was one thing I wish my parents and I knew from the start, it was, it was how essential the things I was doing outside of the gym - getting enough sleep, fueling my body, taking care of myself - were to my success, health, and longevity in this sport.

In gymnastics, you start with the basics. You build strength and endurance. Learn basic skills. Then you build on that foundation and learn more difficult skills and combinations. Develop a poor foundation when you're young, it's really difficult to excel later on.

A gymnast's body is the same way. Foundational health for a gymnast - bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons - starts at the very beginning. And nothing is more crucial to building a strong foundation than nutrition - eating enough overall energy, getting in adequate carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals can not only impact how your gymnast performs today, this week, and this season, but also how well their body adapts and holds up over the life of their career.


Most parents I talk to have no idea what to feed their young gymnast (or for that matter), how to talk to their young child about nutrition.

Especially if you’re parent who's new to gymnastics, you might be finding:

  1. You are always on the go, dinner is a mad race to get to practice on time

  2. Your child puts up a fight at meal times because they either aren’t hungry or don’t want to eat what you’ve offered

  3. Your kid is eating more sugar/junk than you want them to, but they don’t seem to want anything else

  4. Your gymnast is falling asleep at the dinner table and is always tired

As a parent, you have a lot on your plate. You're expected to be an expert in everything for everyone in your family!

As a dietitian for gymnasts, I’ve seen both end of the spectrum. I've seen gymnasts as young as 7 be put on a special, restrictive diet. I've also seen gymnast's try to be their best while eating almost nothing but buttered noodles and oreos! Clearly neither of these scenarios is good for any gymnast (let alone a young child)!

Most parents, when they don’t know what to feed their gymnast, they ask a coach, a fellow parent, just Google it, even search for answers in a Facebook group (filled with lots of keyboard experts...).

But the problem is: These resources don’t actually teach you and your child how to fuel properly as a gymnast. There is a lot of nutrition information on the internet. It is hard to know what is right for your young gymnast! Especially since so much of that information is often for the general public, adults, and high-level athletes.

But what if you knew exactly what to feed your gymnast and even better, your child understood how to fuel their body like an athlete.

Can you imagine?

  • Dinner is no longer frustrating, because you know exactly what to prepare

  • Your gymnast is motivated to eat, because they know how much it impacts their body and performance

  • You’re no longer worried that your child is enough enough or the right foods

  • You know exactly what to pack in your gymnast’s bag for practices

If only fueling your gymnast came with a manual...

Something that offered a foundation of nutrition information for you and your gymnast...

Something that provided meal and snack tips and ideas...

Something that told you what fueling a young gymnast really means...

Now it does!!!

As a dietitian for gymnasts (and former gymnast myself), I know how important fueling is! But, I also know how often gymnasts try to train their best without proper nutrition, which is exactly why I created: Fueling The Compulsory Gymnast: A Nutrition Workbook for Young Gymnasts and Parents!

If you’ve ever wondered if your gymnast is:

  • Eating too much or why they're constantly hungry

  • Eating too much sugar or junk food

  • Eating enough of the right things

And you just need help knowing what to feed your gymnast, this new resource is for you!

This guide is the only self-led, interactive workbook that parents AND young gymnasts can do together! This interactive workbook will teach parents how to support your gymnast by helping them fuel their body AND teaches gymnasts how to understand nutrition and start fueling and recovering like a high-performing athlete

  • Have the tools to make informed food choices

  • Have more energy for school and gymnastics

  • Build more strength and endurance

  • Struggle less with soreness

  • Are at lower risk of injury

  • Are confident in their food choices

  • Are less likely to engage in disordered eating behaviors or develop an eating disorder

  • Have a better chance of competing at a higher level

This workbook is designed to help you and your gymnast both learn about proper fueling. You are a TEAM, and my Fueling the Compulsory Gymnast workbook will help you both work together to make fueling your young gymnast easier!

If this sounds like you, then make sure to grab your copy TODAY!


Kerry Bair, RD, LDN, MPH

The Gymnast RD

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