March 21, 2019

Feeding your travelling team on a budget

Nutrition

Many school teams have their respective summer sport competitions and national events coming up over the next few weeks. 

For those competing out of town and travelling we hear your cry's: "Help! What can we feed our school athletes while away? We have a tight budget and we need some ideas!"

Hats off to all the amazing parents, caregivers and teachers who volunteer their time to go away with teams and spend significant amounts of time in the kitchens preparing food for large numbers of adolescent (and very hungry) athletes.  It can be a huge challenge, especially when juggling dietary constraints, budget, general likes and dislikes, unpredictable cooking facilities let alone cooking for large numbers.  

Here are a few of our tips for your travelling team:

- Plan ahead. It makes the biggest difference when you know what meals you need to have ready, where you will be staying and what cooking facilities you will have available. If you have a schedule of competition and events then plan what time your young athletes need to be up and eating breakfast; will they need recovery snacks at the sporting venue (don't rely on canteens!); will you be able return to your accommodation for lunch meals; what time at the end of the day will you be returning? 

- Scout around for a local supermarket or food market either before you arrive or soon after. You will always need to duck in for something!

- Always take to the venue a bottle of hand sanitizer, a roll of paper towels and some rubbish bags. You can't go wrong with these!

- Think about foods that can be prepared ahead of time, before you leave town. Some parents maybe able to offer some home-baking or (depending on your transportation) a couple of batches of frozen meatballs and sauce for a dinner meal. At your final destination just add some cooked pasta or crusty bread rolls once defrosted and re-heated.

- Cooked chickens, a pile of bread rolls, and a few bags of salad leaves is an easy on-the-go lunch. (Yep, add in a bottle of squeezable mayo if you like)

- Bread and peanut butter is always a cheap, easy and portable filler. A slice of bread spread with peanut butter and wrapped around banana makes a perfect recovery snack between events at tournaments.

- While we love whole and real foods sometimes foods wrapped in packets can be useful because if they don't get used they can be packed away and used again another time without going to waste. Look for quality muesli bars, cans of tuna (with easy-open-tabs), small bags of popcorn or pretzels.

- Pouches of yoghurts that you can squirt straight in the mouth need no spoons

And here is a quick and easy recovery snack idea for 17 hungry athletes for less than $2 per head (including the option for 3 gluten free athletes and 3 dairy free athletes).

MYO flavoured milk A much cheaper option than buying flavoured milk.  

You’ll need:

3L of milk and flavour with Nesquick. 

1L of flavoured soy milk 

This allows a 200ml portion of a milky drink in the post-competition nutrition recovery window.

Don’t forget the cups and a couple of spoons!

AND Mini Margherita Pizzas (including 3 gluten-free (GF) options)

- 1 packet of small GF wraps

- 2-3 packs small wholemeal pita breads or thick wraps (or one for every mouth you need to feed)

- Tomato paste

-1 large bags grated cheese (pizza cheese can be a nice option) or add a bag of parmesan cheese to the shopping list

-dried basil

Spread the pita breads and GF wraps with tomato paste, taking care with any cross-contamination for the GF athletes. Sprinkle with grated cheese, a little dried basil, and parmesan. Bake in a hot oven (220C) for 10mins or until cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve warm or cold

NOTE: take care if transporting pizzas to competition venue that GF pizzas are separated from the rest

Remember: Practice good hand washing to reduce the risk of getting sick!  Bugs spread rapidly when there are large numbers of athletes and helpers living in the same space.

And thats how we help you athletes to EAT THRIVE AND PERFORM. Feel free to ask us any questions or contact us if you are needing help with your young athlete’s nutrition. Let us help make your life easier .

Blog post by

Sara Richardson

I am a passionate advocate for nurturing athletic talent from small locations and providing developing athletes with the right nutrition stepping stones to elite pathways.

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