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Healthy Lunch Ideas for Competitive Swimmers

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Competitive Swimmers

Now that we are in the midst of championship season, swim parents should look carefully at the number of swim meets on the horizon.  Have your calendar handy so that you are ALWAYS prepared to properly nourish your swimmer.  

In our last blog we discussed breakfast. This time we will discuss LUNCH!! I am excited to share a few healthy lunch ideas for competitive swimmers.  Our kids stay busy, so lunch can happen at school, home, at practice, or on the go.  Yes, I do realize how busy life gets with work, school, homework, household responsibilities etc.  But I also know that as parents it is our responsibility to care for our children, keep them well, and teach them healthy habits that last a lifetime. 

Lunch is just as important as breakfast.  Lunch continues to fuel your swimmer and provide the calorie intake required for competition.  Swimmers burn more calories than other athletes.  You will want to make sure that your swimmer is taking in enough calories to sustain them through practices and swim meets.  Eating (or fueling) should happen throughout the day in intervals.  Healthy snacks throughout the day can ensure your swimmer has a constant supply of fuel.

Nutritionists recommend that kids ages 9-13 take in 1,600 – 2,000 calories a day (males) or 1,800 – 2,200 per day (females).  However, swimmers need more! Our competitive swimmers burn, on average, 580 to 704 calories per 60 minutes of swim – depending on their body weight.  So, if your swimmer practices two hours daily, they will need to take in additional 1,160 and 1,408 calories per day.  It’s important to make sure these additional calories are low in fat and healthy. 

I am happy to share with you two healthy lunch ideas for competitive swimmers that provide nutritious caloric intake.  As always, I suggest meal prepping on Sundays.  Just one less thing to worry about during the hectic weeks of school, work and swim practice.  You may want to double the ingredients so that the meals last for a couple of days.

Brussel Sprout, Apple & Walnut Slaw with Honey Mustard Dressing


1 Large Apple – Honey Crisp

1/2 lbs. of Brussel Sprouts

3 Cups Red Cabbage

1/3 Cup Walnuts


1 tbsp Pure Honey for Pure Maple Syrup

1 tbsp Mustard

1/4 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Shred the brussel sprouts and cabbage in a food processor.  Cut the brussel sprouts in half and remove hard stem. 
  2. In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, honey, mustard, vinegar and salt.
  3. Cut the apple in thin matchstick slices
  4. Crush walnuts
  5. Add the shredded brussel sprouts, cabbage, apple, and chopped walnuts to a bowl and add dressing.

Avocado Chicken Salad Wrap


1 Ripe avocado peeled and pitted

2 tbsp sour cream

2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp fresh garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts – cut into cubes

8 butter lettuce leaves or 1 Garden Herb Spinach wrap cut in half


  1. In a bowl mash avocado with sour cream and lime juice.  Stir in cilantro, mined garlic, and chicken cubes until combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve either in butter lettuce or Garden Spinach Herb wrap.

The spinach wrap is best to take for lunch and the butter lettuce is best at home.  Again double the ingredients to have for a couple of days.

Be Well, Swim Hard!! – Benetta Rodgers

For more nutrition advice and recipes from Benetta Rodgers follow @swimmersbag on Instagram

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