Ok... stepped out for a bit and came home to find this... :)
I AM a competitive athlete and a trainer, and yes, I was giving information based on the thousands of pages of scientific studies I've read concerning athletes and nutrition. Believe me... I've done my homework. Honestly, I have to in order to perform. There's no two ways about. When you spend your day in the saddle you figure out what works and doesn't.
Couple of quick points:
1. What Michael Phelps does, or any one individual for that matter, is pointless. George Burns smoked cigars every day and lived to around 100... would you recommend that to the general population? Michael Phelps is a gifted freak.
2. Carbs are the #1 friend of the athlete, and frankly there has been too much emphasis given to protein intake. The endurance athlete needs about 1.3-1.6 grams Protein/kg. body weight. In addition, during peak training cycles athletes should get around 60%-70% of calories from complex carbohydrates. The key is to teaching your body how to store it's maximum potential of glycogen. That is why we fuel immediately after a workout: your body should be somewhat glycogen depleted post-workout, and then we fill it back up. Over time this slowly builds the amount we can store.
3. Why we aim for the 4:1 or 3:1 Carb:Protein ratio is because during endurance athletics our bodies also cannabalize some muscle tissue. We need to replace some of that in recovery.
I wasn't trying to be "snarky." I was rather put-off by some of the recommendations people were posting, and that the OP would actually consider them blew me away. Truthfully, this question would be better posed on forums dedicated to athletics and nutrition. However, since I also happen to be a foodie, I saw this and felt the urge to put forth some science-based information.
I have a child as well, and have trained young athletes, so I understand their needs. If you notice, I said my idea of recovery was geared towards immediate intake, and then after an hour or so you can proceed with a regular meal. My Ideal recovery doesn't have to be in shake form (although I have made these shakes and had them sit for hours in a cooler during long events with no problem). There are plenty of bars available, or better yet, you can make them yourself.
The keys are simple: 3-4:1 Carb:Protein taken within 30 minutes with 18-24oz H20.