Live Better

Fuel for active kids

Growing kids have big appetites; and if they’re playing a lot of sport it can sometimes feel like you’re feeding an army!

Teenage girls eating oranges at half time

There are two factors at play when it comes to feeding active children. You’re fueling the standard growth and development of a young person, while also meeting the nutritional demands1 of their involvement in sport.

What should your active kids be eating?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends intake of a wide range of nutritious foods from these food groups:

  • vegetables, beans / legumes
  • fruits
  • dairy products including milk, yoghurt and cheese
  • lean meats and poultry, fish, tofu, nuts and seeds
  • wholegrain and high fibre cereals and bread, rice, pasta and barley.

MORE: Find out more about food for active kids here

Is it a sports day?

If your child is heading into a particularly active day, give them some extra food to fuel their increased activity. Preparation can begin the night before with a high carbohydrate dinner, like spaghetti bolognaise or a chicken stir-fry. And it doesn’t hurt to have a dairy-based dessert like fruit and yoghurt afterwards.

The morning of the activity, it’s essential that your child eats breakfast. If they don’t have long, try something nutritious but light, like a banana sandwich or cereal. If they have more than an hour, go for something with carbs and protein, like toast and eggs or baked beans.

MORE: Find sports day food inspiration here

1 Sports Dietitians Australia, Children & Adolescents.

Recommended Reading


The best reasons to exercise outside

Sports scientist Luke Ashcroft explains the top benefits. Read more


Set your kids up to play sport safely

Tips to prevent your kids getting hurt. Read more


Make recovery a part of the program

Why proper recovery from injuries is so important for kids. Read more


How to get in the sports performance zone

Your mindset can play a big role in your sports performance. Read more

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