Eating a healthy balanced diet and fuelling our bodies correctly and appropriately is vital for optimal energy levels and performance.
For kids in particular, they are at a critical developmental point in their lives which means eating the right foods on a daily basis and around their sporting events can have a significant effect on their overall health and wellbeing now and into the future!
Luckily, it’s not as complex as it may seem. When we talk about a ‘healthy balanced diet’, we are generally referring to a diet that consists of a variety of foods from the 5 food groups (fruits, vegetables, lean protein, dairy foods/alternatives and wholegrains) and prioritises wholefoods over processed options as often as possible.
Choosing nutritious foods for your children or educating them on the right foods to eat (even better!) has been proven to help with their concentration, energy levels, mood, sleep quality, motivation at school and reduces their likelihood of becoming sick. How good is that!
A great way to help active kids understand the importance of nourishing their bodies is to think of food as a type of ‘fuel’. Its like a car, you would never leave the house with an empty tank of petrol, the same goes for our bodies; we need to fill them with wholesome, healthy foods that will make them run, feel and perform at their best.
The best news of all is that they do not need to rely on fancy sports drinks, caffeine, superfood powders or sugary foods to keep their energy levels at an optimum. What they do need is a diet that contains at least 2 pieces of fruit per day, 5 serves of vegetables (1 cup = 1 serve), lean sources of animal or plant-protein (lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, lentils, beans), dairy products or alternatives that are high in calcium (milk, cheese, yoghurt) and wholegrain sources of carbohydrates (multigrain bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, high-fibre cereals such as Weetbix and All-bran – just to name a few!) and of course water, even a little more for active bodies!
Written by Millie, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Accredited Nutritionist & Founder of Dietitian Edition
Ham, Cheese & Zucchini Savoury Muffins!
Savoury muffins are a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet! Not only that, they are simple to make which means the kids can get involved and choose their favourite ingredients.
These muffins would be the perfect pre-game or post-game snack because they contain protein and carbohydrates to fuel and repair active bodies!
1. 1 cup of wholemeal self-raising flour
2. 4 eggs, whisked
3. 1/2 cup of milk of your choice
4. 1 zucchini, grated and excess moisture removed (or a combination of your favourite vegetables – capsicum, carrot, broccoli, pumpkin, corn and peas all work really well too)
5. 4 large slices of lean ham off the bone, diced
6. 1.5 cups of grated cheese
7. 1 brown onion, diced
8. 1 tbsp of dried Italian herbs
9. Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly
3. Spoon the mixture into a 12 hole muffin tray. Ensure you have lightly sprayed the tray to avoid the mixture from sticking.
4. Sprinkle extra dried herbs and pepper on top of the muffins and place into the oven for ~25 minutes!
Accredited Practising Dietitian
Founder of Dietitian Edition