Fuel for Young Athletes; Author Ann Litt
Reviewed by Clare Wood, Sports Dietitian
Ann Litt is a registered Dietitian in the US, and a mother of two junior athletes. She has authored one other book titled "The College Students Guide to Eating Well on Campus" plus has a large amount of experience in dealing with adolescents, children and their parents regarding nutritional demands and needs.
This book is very readable and easy to understand, with simple language that is not too scientific and overwhelming. As Ann is a nutritionist and a parent, she understands nutrition from a science perspective as well as from a practical angle, so the book is not only aimed at coaches who want to gain insight into the best training practices for their young athletes, but is also a great resource to parents who may be wondering about their child's dietary needs as an athlete.
This book is well structured covering a large amount of content in a logical order. It includes information on basic nutrients and nutrition guidelines, nutrition for endurance training and weight management, information about meal planning, takeaway foods, supplements, and disordered eating. It also includes a final practical chapter of simple easy to make recipes for young athletes and parents.
Each chapter includes a case study to demonstrate the topic in a practical way, plus a dot point summary, which collates key points from the chapters' content. With the author's broad experience, there are also some very good motivational and practical tips outlined.
One negative aspect of the book is that being written in the US the content is based on US measures, which can be confusing for any metric aligned readers in Australia. It uses pounds for weight, feet and inches for height, as well as calories and ounces when talking about food measures. Some of the foods, ingredients and brands used for the meal plans and recipes would rarely be found in Australian cupboards or even supermarkets, which makes many of the good examples that the author uses fairly irrelevant to the Australian consumer.
Another Americanised part is the sports that are discussed. There is quite useful specific information outlined in this section, but with Baseball, Basketball, (American) Football and (Ice) Hockey being the first on the list, with the most comprehensive discussion.
Overall it is a good resource with ideasd for great practical applications, however you need to be able to get past the American sports, foods, and measures to fully appreciate the content.
Buy it on Amazon: Fuel for Young Athletes; Author Ann Litt