Dietician to deliver lecture on nutrition habits for young athletes

Courtesy of SU Photo & Imaging Center

Jill Castle will deliver a lecture on nutrition for young athletes at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.

Registered dietician, author and blogger Jill Castle will deliver a lecture on nutrition for young athletes at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.

Castle’s talk, “Fueling the Growing Athlete: What’s In, What’s Out, and What’s Essential,” is part of Falk’s Ann Selkowitz Litt Distinguished Speakers Series and will focus on proper nutrition for young people involved in sports.

Specifically, Castle said she will discuss the nutrients that are most crucial for promoting growth and performance in athletes between the ages of 8 and 18. She said she will also offer tips on hydration and suggestions for how to incorporate vitamins, minerals and other nutrients into the diets of active youth.

As a dietician in a small private practice, Castle helps families understand the nutritional needs of their children. She has worked in pediatric nutrition for more than 26 years and has written two books, “Eat Like a Champion: Performance Nutrition for Your Young Athlete” and “Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School,” which she co-authored with registered dietician Maryann Jacobsen.

Castle also keeps a blog called Just the Right Byte, where she gives advice on childhood nutrition and tips for parents on cultivating wholesome eating habits in their kids.

Her affection for children and passion for healthy food were what drew Castle to specialize in pediatric nutrition.

“I always liked the topic of nutrition, and kids are a special population,” she said. “… I really like working with them.”

Castle’s experience as the mother of four active children led her to realize there was a gap in the nutritional literature when it came to young athletes, she said. Her writing was an attempt to fill that void by providing “research-based resources” for other parents with athletic children.

Castle’s focus on growing athletes fits into the Ann Selkowitz Litt Distinguished Speakers Series, which honors the memory of Litt, a well-known nutritionist and writer who focused on promoting good nutritional habits for young athletes and helping children with eating disorders, according to the Falk website.

Castle said she is most looking forward to her “myths and truths” segment of Thursday’s lecture, during which she will challenge commonly-held notions about children’s nutrition that are often based on popular media portrayals of healthy habits for adults. What works for fully-grown athletes is not necessarily appropriate for children, who are still growing as they train and compete in their sports, she said.

Ultimately, Castle said of her many jobs, she finds a particular satisfaction in teaching.

“I just really like communication,” she said, “I love teaching and educating parents and kids. … I’m an educator.”


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