Union Athletics and the district’s Child Nutrition Department are teaming up to give students involved in after-school activities an edge by providing performance-based nutritional snacks – or “supper meals.”
“Research continues to show that not only does good nutrition promote good health, nutrition-packed foods help students learn and can even give athletes a competitive edge,” says Lisa Griffin, Director of Union’s Child Nutrition Program. “Colleges are now providing their athletes special nutrition services, but we are offering them to Union High School students who are here after school for activities---athletics, band, etc. We plan to roll it out at the 9th Grade Center next and then to any of our schools that would like to participate.”
Strength Training Coach Kyle Fridrich says several of his students have not had the time or money to purchase healthy choices before practice or games, and some students are not even able to eat, which adversely affects their performance, concentration and, most importantly, their health.
Fridrich emphasizes Performance Nutrition Guidelines, which focus on complex carbohydrates for energy, quality proteins for recovery, good fats, dairy products, and a variety of vegetables and fruits that provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and lower fat content and glycemic index foods.
“We are providing high protein snacks such as hummus and veggies, lean turkey, and cheese roll-up wraps, shaker salads with lean meats and veggies,” says Griffin. “We also have Greek yogurt parfaits with homemade whole grain granola and a variety of fruits at some of our serving areas to supplement their meals,” she says.
The Child Nutrition Department also offers these types of healthy choices on school menus, designated with special symbols students can readily identify.
“It is a win-win situation when Athletics and Child Nutrition work together to provide a strong nutrition foundation that will improve student performance and help them succeed,” says Griffin.