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Dinner ideas for young competitive swimmers

Swimmers & Parents

To keep finding dinner ideas to help support young swimmers can be difficult. Also, what sort of dinner your child needs will largely depend on the time when they train.

If they get in from training late at night a huge meal close to bed time probably isn’t a great idea. The key is to use your own judgment. You know your kids best.

A protein-rich meal, with some carbohydrates – such as lots of fresh vegetables and perhaps some pasta – is the best option to replace their energy stores and keep them fighting-fit!

A few dinner ideas to try

  • Chilli con carne. Beans, lean mince, and brown rice, with a good helping of salad.
  • Baked potatoes (or even better, baked sweet potatoes) filled with baked beans, tuna and sweetcorn, or chicken tikka, with either a salad or some extra vegetables e.g. green beans.
  • Omelette made with smoked salmon, tuna, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes or peppers.
  • Pasta or pasta bake. Try to go easy on the pasta content, and add plenty of meat or fish, and vegetables.
  • For those late finishes, sometimes just a chicken salad and a yoghurt will be enough.

Planning is the key. It’s a good idea to plan main meals at the beginning of the week so know what your child will be eating. Try cooking food at the weekend and then freezing meals ready for the week.

Talking vegetables

The best way to eat vegetables is raw before they’ve lost any of their nutrients from cooking. But if you’re going to cook them ensure you keep the water.

This contains all the nutrients, vitamins/antioxidants the vegetables lost in the boiling/steaming process. You can use it for stock, gravy, or anything you like!

Microwaving fresh vegetables is one of the healthiest ways to cook them and retain the maximum amounts of vitamins/antioxidants. Don’t fry vegetables. There’s no better way to destroy nutrients and minerals than with superheated fat that your body will struggle to digest.

For some good quick and healthy dinner ideas head over the BBC Good Food website here.