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  • Writer's picturePetra Salo

“What to pack into my lunch box?’ -for sporty teenagers.

Your lunch box needs to give you plenty of energy and nutrients to fuel your school day (learning and running around) + bikes rides to school + training sessions after school. It’s important to eat well as you are growing fast, want to do well at school, AND you do a lot of sport. You need a lot of energy and nutrients from food to fuel the growth, muscle recovery and development, and to keep your immune system strong so that you don’t get sick easily. Good nutrition is also required for keeping your minds sharp to support your learning. Below is a guide for your lunch boxes that you can try to follow as best as you can to ensure you have a winner's lunch box!

(*SW = sandwich)


Preferably wholegrains/ wholemeal ones for longer lasting energy release, more fibre, vitamins and minerals.


· The carbohydrates give you long lasting energy, fuels you for, and helps you recover well from exercise to be ready for your next activity.

· The fibre helps you stay full & your digestive system working well.


· Crackers.

· Bread /rolls/ flat bread etc.

· Pasta (salad/other pasta dish).

· Rice / quinoa/ other grains.

(Preferably wholemeal/grains options)



· To help keep you full.

· For your muscles - strength, growth, muscle development (adaptation) and recovery from exercise.

· For strong immune system that you dont get sick easily.

· These foods (except dairy) are also rich in iron which you need lots as a growing, active teenager! If you lack iron you feel tired all the time and can’t concentrate at school. Most teenagers don’t get enough iron.


· Seeds & nuts (sprinkle on salad/ bread/ eat plain etc.), peanut butter SW!

· Beans/lentils/chickpeas as plain (e.g. baked beans), in salads, pasta/rice dishes, or 3-bean mix mixed with e.g. corn and pasta.

· Meat (leftovers?) into SW’s / rolls etc.

· Meat alternatives (e.g. vegetarian sausages in SW/roll)

· Fish (e.g. tuna out of can) in a roll / pasta. – Fish is great brain food!!!

· Tofu (e.g. marinated tofu strips in a roll/SW/wrap).

· Eggs (e.g. boiled in a salad/SW, or an omelette)

· Cheese/ other dairy (but don’t let this be the only protein food very often as it lacks iron)



· Fibre – keeps you full and your digestive working well.

· Vitamins and minerals – you need these for your body & mind to work at their best!


· Salad veg into roll/SW/wraps.

· Cooked/raw veg in a pasta/rice/other grain dish.

· Veg sticks (e.g. carrots, cucumber, snow peas) with a dip e.g. hommus.

· Plain; e.g. a whole tomato or a carrot.



Fibre – keeps you full and your tummy working well & feeling good.

· Vitamins and minerals – you need for your body & mind to work at their best and help keep your immune system strong so that you don't get sick!

· The carbohydrates give you energy for learning, concentrating, thinking, growing, and exercising!


· As whole piece.

· Added to yoghurt/custard/ cottage cheese/ home-made muffins etc.

· Dried fruit.


(or alternatives such as soy)


· The carbohydrates give you long lasting energy.

· The protein -reasons as per the protein section above.

· Rich in calcium (+ many other minerals and vitamins) which are essential for maximizing your bone strength (our window to maximise our bone strength is till we’re 25yo!). Most teenagers don’t get enough of calcium.


· Cheese in SW’s / rolls/wraps/ crackers.

· Cheese cubes in pasta/rice dishes.

· Grated cheese in an omelette/pasta.

· Milk drinks (Up & Go (sugar reduced), Milo, Soy Good soy drink etc. ) – great quick snacks before training.

· Yoghurt.

It’s also important that you eat during both of your breaks to spread out your fuelling as you have long days at school. You will also need an additional quick snack prior to your training straight after school AND another one on your way to your 2nd training session - if you have these! Those snacks can be anything from what’s listed above, or for example:

· Muesli bar /other grain snack

· Home-made fruit/veg/nut muffin/slice etc.

· Fruit

· Milk drink

· Crackers e.g. Vitawheat with peanut butter.

· Dried fruit +/- nuts.

Make sure you stay hydrated with a plenty of water as your main drink! If you are dehydrated, you can start to feel tired, irritated, lack concentration and accuracy and get head ache/ feel dizzy/ nauseated. I know you will do well though!

~~~Go Super Stars!!! ~~~

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