I know your thinking ,”Track Season is over so why is she writing tips on track meet food now”? Simple, I now have what I call clear ”Brain Space” with the season over to think about things, that will help next season. These tips just may help you get ahead of the curve next season and feed your youth athlete and family a little better in the process.
1. Always Make A List during the week for your Track Meet meals. If you go shopping for your weekend without a list, you may as well just throw your money away. Poll your family and see what it is they like to eat.Think about your athletes events and types of food that best serve his fueling needs during the day. Example: Lauren runs the 100m usually in the morning so I know I have to get her fueling needs for the race in the early am usually around 6am so that by 9am she is fueled and ready to go. My list would for sure have bananas on it because she likes them in the shakes I give her in the mornings . Usually most mom’s or dad’s that pack the meals week after week know what the family and athlete likes ,so this step of preparation is very important and easy.Do it at work during lunch on a break while watching TV. Pulling from your weekly menu (next tip) and checking to make sure you don’t have it in your pantry, fridge or freezer. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Now stick to that list.
2.Plan out a weekly menu. This is the best way to ensure that your list is complete, and that you have enough to serve your family atthe meet. It’s smart to plan a weekly menu and then duplicate it for the next week – this way I can shop for two weeks at once. of course you will have to go to the store more than once for the fresh items.
2. Have a budget. When I go to the store, I have to know exactly how much I can spend. Otherwise I will always over spend and get things I don’t need. I try my best to stick within that limit.
3. Keep a list on your fridge, and write things down immediately. When you run out of something, don’t leave it to your memory. My memory is shot so I can leave to my memory If I want it :-) Jot it down immediately, and you’ll never have to run back to the store because you don’t have turkey meat or bread.
4. Keep things stocked for quick-n-easy meals. Easy meals for us might be turkey sandwiches or in our house baked chicken wings which Henry loves a the meets. I try to always have these the ingredients on hand, so I can whip something up fast and tasty when I am feeling lazy.
5.Think Variety not just tradtional lunch foods. We have vegetarian meals some times even a litttle California rolls , pasta. Think Asian, Indian and other such cultural food.
6.Pack your own lunch snacks. Buying pre-made snacks is convenient, but a big waste of money. Buy little baggies and buy the snacks in bulk, then it will take just a few minutes to pack some snacks for lunch over the weekend.
7. Bake a cake every once in a while. Instead of number 6 above ,if you have time (make time) bake a cake and cookies(more often cookies) for a nice change of paste. When make them I know I have put healthy ingredients in them and I don’t have concern about HFCS or perservatives. Our friends love them and really it feels nice to share homemade items with the team and friends.
8.Always have batteries, paper towels,napkin,water even toilet paper and other necessities that you always seem to need. I have a bag we bring every meet that is ready stocked with those items so I don’t have to repack every week.I do it as soon as I get home from a meet so I remember what needto be restocked inthe bag.
9.Don’t buy junk food (or buy as little as possible). Junk food not only costs a lot of money for about zero nutrition, but it makes you and your family fat and kills you. Talk about a bad deal! Opt for fruits and veggies instead. The food athte meets is not that healthy so we make a habit not to go to the stand unless absolutely necessary (which it has been from time to time) Lets face it we are out there weeks on end,you could really pack some extra pounds on the “tasty fat they serve there”. I realize this is how teams make money so we do purchase sometime to support but never for a meal,if i can help it.
11. Go for whole foods. When preparing remember,the processed kinds of foods are lacking in nutrition and will make you fat. Look for things in their least processed form – whole grain instead of white or wheat bread, fresh fruit instead of canned or juice, whole grain cereal or oatmeal instead of all other kinds of cereal. You get the idea.
12. **My Favoritie ** Make a Crock Pot Meal and salad before you leave for the track and when you get home you will have dinner ready and not be tempted to grab fast food. These meals are easy, cheap and tasty. Put a few pieces of seasoned chicken(I use 6-7 thighs or drumsticks with a tiny bit of water in the bottom, cut up a bunch veggies and spices , throw them in the pot in the morning, cover and go and have dinner ready for you when you get home. sometimes I mix up corn bread batter and place in the fridge,when I get home just pop that in the oven. A complete meal FAST…….Can anything be more perfect than that?
Until Next Time