Commit to Healthier Meals with
Menus & Recipes

from Crystal Petersen, RDN LD

Nutrition for Student Athletes

Click here for a Sample Game Day Nutrition Plan.

Packable Snacks

  • 100% juice boxes
  • Trail mix
  • Peanut butter and crackers
  • Fig Bars
  • Granola Bars*
  • Whole fruit or dried fruit and fruit purees
  • Dry cereal, like Cheerios or Life Cereal
  • Peanut butter sandwich

*Choose a granola bar made from mostly real foods like oats and other grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.  Look for a bar low in added sugar (4 grams added sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar), and at least 5 grams protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Portable Snacks for an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack:

  • String cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Grab & Go milk
  • Meat and cheese sandwich
  • Apple slices
  • Fresh veggie sticks
  • Hummus

Tasty Snack Combos:

  • Grapes and string cheese
  • Cheese cubes and pretzels
  • Tortilla lined with lean deli turkey, wrapped around string cheese
  • Apple slices and peanut butter
  • Milk and a granola bar

Recovery Snack Ideas**

  • Cereal with Milk
  • Fruit and Yogurt
  • Pita or crackers and hummus
  • Trail mix
  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Banana and Peanut butter

**Eat within 30 minutes after a workout/practice/game unless you are having a meal right away. 

Create your own granola bar by starting with this recipe:

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup nuts (choose almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or a combination)

1 cup dried, pitted dates

1/3 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

¼ cup  real maple syrup

Optional: dried fruits and dark chocolate chips

  1. Chop dates in a food processor for about a minute (pulsing it may work best)
  2. Warm peanut butter and maple syrup in a saucepan
  3. In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together
  4. Put mix in a parchment paper lined loaf pan and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes
  5. Remove from loaf pan, place on cutting board, slice.  Makes about 8 bars.
  6. Wrap slices in waxed paper.  Store bars in the refrigerator, wrapped and in a covered storage container.

Overnight Muesli - a simple breakfast or post-training snack

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup low-fat milk

¼ cup yogurt

1 small apple, chopped

¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Sprinkle ground cinnamon

Optional additions:  2 Tablespoons real maple syrup, 1 mashed banana, ¼ cup applesauce, fresh fruit for topping

  1. Combine all ingredients (including optional additions) in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.
  2. Cover bowl and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Post-Race Chicken Fried Rice – done in 10 to 15 minutes.

1 Tbsp minced garlic

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced

3 eggs

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 cups cooked, rice (brown rice works too)

1 cup cooked, chopped boneless chicken thighs

1 cup frozen peas (or frozen peas and corn)

  1. On your stove top, heat a lightly oiled sauté' or fry pan up to medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook and stir about a minute.
  2. In a small bowl, beat eggs and soy sauce.  Add eggs to cooked garlic and onion in hot saute pan.  Stir eggs to cook them quickly.
  3. Add rice and cooked chicken to the pan continuing to cook the mixture for another 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add peas (or peas and corn) and cook until the veggies are heated thorough and bright in color.
  5. Season to taste with salt, sriracha sauce, additional soy sauce or sesame oil.

Serves two.

Savory Bread Cakes – makes 8 cakes.  Wrap them up and take them with.

4 cups; bread; choose your favorite and cut into cubes (works with gluten-free bread too)

2 cups low-fat or fat-free milk

4; eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup; shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey, parmesan, or a combination)

½ cup; ham, chopped into small pieces

Brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Coat a loaf-pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Put bread cubes into a large bowl
  3. On you stove top, gently warm milk in a saucepan. Simmer a bit.
  4. Pour hot milk over bread cubes and mix.  Let rest until the bread is soaked.
  5. Add eggs, cheese, and ham pieces and stir to combine.
  6. Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake until firm.  20 – 30 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with brown sugar and a pinch of salt
  8. Let cool before slicing and wrapping.

Power-Packed Wrap – Any time of day!

1 lb. (4 cups) cooked, seasoned chopped chicken breast or pork loin   

1 can (2 cups) BBQ style baked beans

8 large tortilla wraps

4 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups shredded lettuce

Optional: BBQ or other favorite sauce

  1. Heat beans and meat separately
  2. To assemble:
    1. Lay tortillas on work surface
    2. Spoon ½ cup rice down the center of each tortilla
    3. Top each with approximately ¼ cup beans, ½ cup chopped meat, and ¼ cup lettuce. Drizzle with sauce if you wish).
    4. Fold in sides and roll up tortilla

This wrap can be made warm, or you can keep all ingredient cold and take it to-go.

Dinner Theme Night suggestions:

  • Pasta Mondays - Example: cooked Whole-Grain Pasta tossed with Steamed Broccoli, Spaghetti Sauce with Cooked Ground Beef and Mushrooms, Lettuce Salad, Bread or Breadstick, Grapes or Seasonal fruit and Milk
  • Grill Out Tuesdays - example: Grilled Cauliflower Steaks, Ham Kabobs (Ham cubes, pineapple, and onion), Quinoa Salad or rolls, Milk
  • Sheet Pan Wednesdays - Example: Teriyaki Salmon with Roasted Pineapple and Veggies and Milk
  • Main Dish Salad Thursdays - Example: Chopped Salads with a Muffin and Milk
  • Mexican Fridays - Example: Taco Lasagna, Lettuce Salad, Fruit and Milk

Additional Recipes