Team Meal Recommendations:
- No new foods on the event day. Avoid serving high-fat or spicy foods to athletes.
- Team dinners hosted by booster clubs or parents with the best intentions at heart often fail to pick up the proper meals and snacks to serve athletes beforehand.
- Even colleges have made this mistake which is why I am going to list out some team dinner suggestions!
Here are some SIMPLE team meal ideas for your program that are going to provide your athletes with the right fuel in the right portions!
- Pasta party
- Whole-grain pasta (1-2 cups per athlete)
- Mixed grapes, pineapple, and orange slices
- One-two grilled chicken breast (4-6 oz ideally)
- Low-fat cheese + marinara sauce (focus on avoiding pasta sauces high in fat)
- Veggies (cucumber, spinach, carrots) – you may want to limit super high-fiber veggies like broccoli as they can lead to gas and bloating as you learned
- Fruit cup (offer high-volume water fruit like watermelon or berries)
- Low-fat milk and water as a beverage. I would recommend avoiding sugary juices to support good sleep.
- Turkey or beef taco bar
- Choose lean ground turkey or lean ground beef (97-99% lean)
- Whole-grain tortillas
- You can also choose to do tofu for plant-based
- Avocado, salsa, low-fat cheese
- Rice or beans
- Plenty of spinach, green veggies, tomatoes
- Fruit cups or fruit bowl (pineapple, melon, strawberries0
- Low-fat milk and water as a beverage
- Grilled chicken, burgers, or steak kabob grill party
- Grilled chicken or lean red meat (flank steak is fantastic and rich in iron for endurance athletes)
- Sweet potato or baby red potatoes on the girl
- Side of whole-grain or brown rice
- Large veggie salad with light dressing (drizzle don’t drench)
- Brown bag it
- Turkey cheese or ham cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread + avocado
- Side of blueberries + banana
- Pretzel rods + applesauce
- Greek yogurt cup + PB packet
- Milk + water
- Build your own sandwich buffet
- Have any lean grilled protein options available (tofu, chicken, lean beef, ham, ground turkey)
- Whole-grain rice, pasta, bread, or pita of choice
- A mixture of veggies (cucumber, tomato, spinach)
- Watermelon slices or fruit
- Low-fat milk and water
These meal examples are something you can share with parents, booster clubs, and those in charge of getting meals and snacks together before games and events. *Note that portion size and ratios of each meal will vary depending on body size, goals, and sport. Nutrition can make a good athlete great or a great athlete good!
If you are looking for a team talk or presentation we are now booking for January 2023! Help your athletes, coaches, and community understand the fundamentals of fueling, sleep, recovery, and weight gain with a talk today! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for rates and scheduling or click here to contact Wendi directly!
Remember to use my “4-2-1 Fueling Strategy” to properly time meals with guidance!
Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LD, CISSN