Feeding Active Hungry Kids
My kids are super active and hungry all the time… what should I feed them?
Good nutrition is especially important for your active, growing children! At times it may seem like your child’s stomach is a bottomless pit. To deal with this, offer them nutritious food choices regularly throughout the day to provide them with a constant supply of energy for growth and development as well as supporting high activity levels and satisfy their hunger.
As a general guideline, make sure that their lunch and dinner includes a source of carbohydrate and protein plus at least two serves of vegetables or fruit.
Starting the day off with breakfast is essential to prepare children for the busy day ahead.
Some great breakfast ideas include:
- Wholegrain toast + eggs or baked beans + piece of fruit
- Wholegrain breakfast cereal e.g. CHEERIOS + milk + yoghurt
- 2 wheat biscuits + milk + yoghurt + fruit
For those who struggle to get out of bed or eat first thing in the morning, some quick ideas could include:
- A glass of milk + MILO + banana
- Cereal bar + yoghurt + piece of fruit
A well-balanced packed lunch will ensure your kids have plenty to snack on throughout the day and provide them with lots of nutrition to fuel their active bodies and minds.
Ideas could include:
- Sandwich made with grainy bread + chicken/tuna/ham/egg + cheese/avocado/mayo + salad
- Frittata wedge made with 2 eggs + kumara/potato and vegetables
- Sushi pieces + piece of fruit
- Leftovers from dinner the night before + cut up veggies
To create a well-balanced dinner meal for your active children, use this plate model as a guide.
Some dinner ideas include:
- Lean mince + wholemeal pasta + non-starchy steamed vegetables (you can hide vege by grating them into mince mixture!)
- Stir fry made with lean pork/beef/chicken/lamb + vegetables + rice/noodles
- Grilled/baked fish + vegetables + baked kumara/potato
- Lean steak + mashed kumara/potato + 2 handfuls salad veggies
Snacks need to be nutrient dense mini meals to keep them topped up throughout the day. Add some of these ideas to their lunchbox:
- Cheese + crackers
- Hummus + veggie sticks
- Handful of nuts + dried fruit
- Fruit toast + nut butter
- Smoothie made with frozen berries + banana + milk + yoghurt
- Boiled eggs
- Mini meatballs made with lean mince and grated veggies
Written by Nutritionist Claire Turnbull (AUT Millennium) and Dietitian Jessica Moulds
For more about Claire check out www.claireturnbull.co.nz
For more about Jessica, check out www.missionnutrition.co.nz