healthy eating habits
Whereas breakfast is the most important meal of your
training diet, lunch is the second most important. In fact,
we encourages soccer athletes to eat TWO lunches and
have healthy eating habits!
One lunch at about 11:00 A.M. (or at your break), when
you first start to get hungry, then a second lunch at about
3:00 in the afternoon, say, after school, when the
munchies strike and there’s still time to digest before you
start soccer practice at 4:30 or 5:00 P.M. If you train in the
morning, these lunches refuel your muscles.healthy eating
habits If you train in the late afternoon, these lunches
prepare you for a strong workout. If you train mid-afternoon,
after school, you may want to divide your second lunch
into a pre-exercise and a recovery snack. And in all cases,
two lunches will curb your appetite so you are not
ravenous at the end of the day.
What’s for Lunch?
Soccer players commonly have three options for lunch:
pack your own, pick up some fast food, or enjoy a hot
meal from the deli or cafeteria. You can eat healthfully in
each of these scenarios; just remember to enjoy three
kinds of wholesome food with each meal (e.g.
bread+peanut butter+banana; pizza crust+tomato
sauce+cheese; chicken+rice+vegetables) and at least
500 to 600 calories per meal (based on a 2,000 to 2,400
calorie food plan, the amount appropriate for weight-
watchers; non-dieters can target about 600 to 800
calories per meal). Eating a larger hot meal in the middle
of the day can make the evening easier if you train in the
late afternoon. No longer will you arrive home ravenous,
and if you want a smaller dinner,healthy eating habits
you’ll be content to enjoy a simple soup-and-sandwich
meal. (For hot lunch suggestions, see the later section on
Dinner and Soccer.)
Packing your own lunch is a good way to save money,
time, and oftentimes saturated fat and calories if you are
organized enough to have the right foods on hand. Good
nutrition certainly starts in the supermarket. One trick to
packing your lunch is to schedule “food shopping.” A
second trick is to make lunch the night before. Just as we
encourage independence among young players (e.g. they
should pack and carry their own soccer bag), they should
be encouraged to take part in this process.healthy eating
habits It is one of the many benefits of a great soccer
The following healthy eating tips suggestions can help you pack a super sports lunch and
good food habits.
• To prevent sandwich bread from getting stale, keep in it the freezer and take out the slices
as needed. Bread thaws in minutes at room temperature, or in seconds in the microwave
• Make several sandwiches at one time, and then store them in the freezer. The frozen
sandwich will be thawed—and fresh—by lunchtime. Sliced turkey, lean roast beef, peanut
butter, and leftover pizza freeze nicely. (Don't freeze eggs, mayonnaise, jelly, lettuce,
tomatoes, or raw veggies.)
• Instead of eating a dry sandwich with no mayonnaise,healthy eating habits add moistness
using lettuce and tomato; low-fat mayonnaise; low-fat bottled salad dressings, such as
ranch or creamy Italian; mustard or ketchup.
• Eat peanut butter (or other nut butters); it is a favorite of soccer players, and filled with
health-protective fat that reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Enjoy peanut
butter (or other nut butters) with sliced banana, raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, apple slices,
and/or celery slices.
• Add zip to a cheese sandwich with oregano, Italian seasonings, green peppers, and/or
tomatoes health and eating habits.