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

Young teenage girls sitting down to eat some fresh sliced oranges. Dirty sitting with a soccer ball and all smiling

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.