How To Fuel The Kids On Busy Sporting Days

I’m constantly trying to figure out how to fuel the kids on busy sporting days – game days and also on practice days – because usually they’ve had a busy day at school and then rushing between activities can get hectic. Nutrition is so incredibly important for everyone, but even more so for kids who burn off a lot of energy on the field.

So I’ve put some ideas together for the whole day as well as snacks and pre/post game food and drink ideas.


  • Smashed avocado on toast with roasted tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms (can be roasted the night before and reheated)
  • Scrambled/poached eggs with veggies such as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, avocado
  • Sugar free granola with yogurt and fresh berries (avoid those sugary processed cereals that only fill them up for an hour)
  • Overnight oats with plant based milk, chopped nuts, dates and fresh fruit
  • A glass of pure fruit juice (no added sugar and not from concentrate)
  • A green breakfast smoothie (bananas, kale, berries, milk, yogurt, honey, peanut butter is a quick and nutritious combination)


  • Pasta with tomato and veggie packed sauce with a small amount of grated cheese, with a side of fresh salad, spinach, tomatoes etc.
  • Mixed bean wrap with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado
  • Crudites with hummus – carrot, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, pepper sticks with hummus/guacamole/salsa
  • Brown rice and kidney beans with grated cheese, avocado and tomatoes
  • Lean grilled chicken sandwich (not processed sandwich meat and limit the mayo!)
  • Fish – tuna, salmon, sardines in a salad or wrap with salad and/or veggies
  • Hard boiled eggs with rice, in a salad or wrap
  • Fresh fruit – bananas, apples, pears, berries, mangos

Before the game

They need something rich in complex carbohydrates and a small amount of protein; something low in fat and excessive fiber (it takes too long to digest and can might cause a sore tummy.

Fruit, fruit or vegetable juice, a healthy sandwich or crackers with peanut butter are all good pre-game snacks

In between games

Have some of these on hand for those emergency snack attacks:

  • Fresh fruit – bananas, apples, pears, berries, mangos
  • Mixed nuts – almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts etc.
  • Plain crackers with low salt peanut butter
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwiches / rice cakes
  • Crudites with hummus – carrot, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, pepper sticks with hummus/guacamole/salsa


Hydration is key but sticking to water during games is best (despite the kids begging for those heavily marketed sugary sports drinks)

Aim for at least 2 bottles of water during a game

Post Games

Milk or chocolate milk- even better if plant-based such as almond or rice milk

Sports drinks – try to limit these to just one after a big game because despite their high levels of electrolytes, they also contain a lot of artificial sugar, salt and preservatives and sometimes even caffeine. Definitely avoid anything with caffeine as it could upset their tummy after exercise and caffeine also acts as a diuretic – so by losing more water, they will actually become more dehydrated!

A banana is one of the best post-games snacks to instantly replenish the body in a healthy way. If you’re heading home for a meal aim for a lean grilled/baked meat/fish combined with rice and plenty of veggies and healthy fats to replenish those energy stores. As much as you might want to treat your little champ to a fast food burger, it’s really not a good idea to do this regularly as the body is still recovering for hours after exercise and needs the right nutrition to do so.

Things to avoid…at all costs…at any time!

  • Candy, baked goods, chips – too high in sugar and salt
  • Soda – too much sugar and no nutritional value
  • Fried, greasy and fast foods – too many bad fats and absolutely no nutritional value
  • Processed meats – bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pre-packaged sandwich meat, pepperoni, salami and all red meat – there is nothing good about these types of foods and they should be limited or avoided completely

I find that when I’m more organised I can have most of these meals and snacks ready to go for those crazy hectic days. I’ve posted videos about some of my boys’ favourite meals, including pulled pork burritos and salad bowls – most of which can be grilled and chopped in advance and then put together in minutes.

It’s so important to set the right example for the little sportsters by involving them in their food preparation and helping to educate them about nutrition.

What else can you suggest to feed those hungry little sport stars??

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