Kelley O’Hara kicks a soccer ball

How Milk Helps Youth Soccer Players Kick It

For many kids, summer means youth soccer. It’s a time for fun in the sun, finessing fancy footwork and learning to master the skills of “the beautiful game.” One way kids learn the world’s most popular sport is to join a 3v3 soccer team and compete in the Kick It 3v3 Soccer Tournament. This style of play is called a “small-sided” game, where coaches use a small field to give participants the most touches and offer more individualized instruction. It’s a way to teach soccer within the game.

Soccer is a fast-paced game that involves constant motion, from jogging to all-out sprints, right up to the final whistle. No matter the level of play, a key to building skills includes proper soccer nutrition. This includes a game plan not only to hydrate before, during and after games, but to know what to eat before a soccer game. This can help to maximize your kids’ potential both on and off the field. 

Professional soccer player Kelley O’Hara  knows milk is a great choice for players of all ages – especially kids! It tastes great, kids love it and it is a simple and wholesome way to get high-quality protein. It also helps to build lean muscle, contains calcium and vitamin D — two nutrients that work in concert to help build strong bones, plus other nutrients kids need to be their best. When kids need to power through all the day’s activities, like a soccer tournament, milk is a great addition to youth soccer player’s nutritious diet. 

Win A VIP Trip to Watch Kelley O’Hara Kick It on The Field

Want to see Kelley O’Hara in action? Just share a photo of your kid doing something awesome and be sure to tag it #MilkIt and #promo for the chance to win a VIP experience to a professional soccer game to watch Kelley O’Hara! For officials rules see here

3 Soccer Nutrition Tips for Your Kids

Milk is a simple, wholesome way to help your little youth soccer player get natural and balanced nutrition to help them grow up strong. Here are three nutrition tips moms of soccer players can help incorporate: 

1. Eat Breakfast on Game Day

 Bunny Oatmeal with a glass of milk

When moms set the example and eat nutritious meals and snacks themselves, kids notice. In fact, moms who drink milk are more likely to have kids who drink milk, which is the top food source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium – three nutrients that are most often lacking in Americans’ diets, including kids, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

2. Sports, Like Youth Soccer, Provide Lifelong Heath Benefits for Kids

Youth soccer players on a field

Sports, like youth soccer, provide physical activity for kids and prepare them for a lifetime of health benefits. Exercise makes children fit now, and also improves their chances for becoming a healthy adult. Playing sports also teaches kids vital life lessons — discipline, teamwork, and how to lose (and win!) with grace — essential skills to learn from an early age.

3. Serve Milk as a Sports Beverage

Cleats, soccer ball and milk.

Your soccer star needs to hydrate before, during and after play. Did you know that milk is one of the original hydration beverages? In fact, research suggests milk may help you stay hydrated after exercise, more than some commercial sports drinks.

A  recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition comparing the hydration effect of multiple beverages, including fat free and full-fat milk, found milk ranked higher for hydration than beverages like water and sports drinks. Researchers attributed milk’s beneficial hydration effect to the electrolytes sodium and potassium, which are naturally found in all types of milk.

In addition, some experts recommend readily available, grab-and-go beverages like water and chocolate milk for hydration. 

7 Breakfasts That Are Good to Eat Before a Soccer Game

Milk is a simple way to help give kids nutrients they need to be their best, and they already love it. When you pair milk with breakfast before the match, it’s a choice you can both feel good about. Here are seven tasty options your little kickers will love (and are good to eat) before a game or practice:

1. Short Stack of Primate Pancakes Recipe

Plate of pancakes, fruit and a glass of milk.

Don’t monkey around with breakfast — kids need a hearty meal before play. This stack of flapjacks and an 8-ounce glass of milk serves up 15g of protein — and can help put a smile on their faces before a big game. 

2. Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Sushi

Peanut butter and banana sushi and a glass of milk.

This kid-friendly version of a sushi roll brings three power breakfast players — peanut butter, bananas and cereal, to the goal line in the morning.

3. Not-Your-Mama’s PB&J Recipe

Peanut butter and jelly on graham crackers.

Here is a perfect — and portable — crunchy twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich that your sockers will love and is a perfect match for both soccer and good nutrition.

4. 4 Tasty Smoothie Combinations

A strawberry smoothie with milk.

Kids have a summer schedule to keep. From youth soccer camps to the neighborhood pool, kids are busy over their vacations. Here are four cool ways to help fuel mornings with a smoothie — a nutritious, on-the-go breakfast, and perfect to eat before a game.