Feeding the Team? Winning Team Meals

thAre you a team mom (or dad)? Snack/meal mom (or dad)? Well, this one’s for YOU! It’s that time of year…school is back in session, and sports teams are enthusiastically practicing and gearing up for a successful season. I’ve written before about how team meals can create a bonding opportunity for sports teams (Read A Team that Eats Together Wins Together). However, I’ve been asked on more than one occasion recently for team meal ideas. Young athletes train hard, and fueling them well before or after practices and games is an important part of the formula for success.

I decided to put together a list of “Team Meal Ideas” with links for great recipes to feed your hungry team!  It’s always a good idea to “survey” the team before the season starts, in order to get an idea of food preferences, allergies or sensitivities and special diets (vegetarians, vegans). I also have team members give me suggestions or ideas…after all, they know what they like!

Team meals ideas:

Pasta bar- of course, an easy (and inexpensive!) favorite – cook different pastas (including gluten-free if there are team members with sensitivities) and serve with choice of meat sauce, meatballs, marinara, pesto, healthy alfredo sauce, salad and bread

Taco/fajita bar – chicken, ground beef, steak or fish tacos with rice, beans, tomatoes and guacamole. Use corn or whole grain flour tortillas!

Baked potato bar – baked potatoes (white and yams or sweet potatoes) with toppings (get creative!); chili, diced ham, turkey, chicken, veggies, sour cream or greek yogurt, cheese. Serve with a green salad.

Chicken/ Meat kabobs and rice – grill ahead at home! Kabobs with chicken, beef and/or veggies with jasmine rice and a salad

Different soups, salads and breads – perfect for fall (although it’s still pretty hot here, we may wait a few more months for this one!) Chicken NoodleButternut SquashTomato, minestrone…endless possibilities! (again, survey the team at the beginning of the season and find out their favorites!)

Make-Your-Own-Sandwich (or Wrap) Bar- turkey, ham, roast beef, chicken with pesto, sundried tomatoes, hummus, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc. or even PBJs! Pair with baby carrots and a fruit salad for a complete meal

Crockpot Meals (LOVE!) – chili (veggie, beef or Chicken chili), BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, stews of all kinds!

Pasta Salad with Chicken and Veggies, bread and green or fruit salad. Can be served warm, cold or room temperature.

Grilled chicken, veggie, potato salad – grill the chicken breasts ahead of time! I like this idea because they can be served room temperature. You can even use rotisserie chickens!

Make-Your-Own Pita Pizzas – if you have access to an oven or grill you can use actual dough and cook them, but they can be assembled with pita breads and eaten room temperature (think healthy lunchables!). Include meats, plenty of veggies, red sauce and pesto and of course cheese!

Fried Rice/ Chow Mein great ones to feed a crowd! Check out my recipes for Fried Rice and “Pre-Game” Chow Mein! Include a small amount of protein – chicken, beef, tofu and lots of veggies!

Enchiladas – who doesn’t like enchiladas! This is my recipe for “Better for You Chicken Enchiladas,” but they can be made with chicken, beef or all veggie; red sauce or green sauce. Pair with rice, beans, guacamole and a green salad for a complete meal.

The Ultimate Salad Bar – also easy and a good one especially for the girls. Get creative! Pinterest has some amazing ideas! Remember to make it fun and colorful!

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl  they can be prepared at home and packaged in disposable bowls. Include a small amount of protein (chicken, lean meat, tofu or beans) and serve with brown rice and lots of veggies! Think carrots, zucchini, onions, cabbage, mushrooms or whatever else you have on hand!

Breakfast for dinner! Always fun and my kid’s favorite! Think eggs, breakfast burritos, pancakes, bagels, yogurt parfaits…again, use your imagination to keep it interesting!

What’s your team’s favorite meal? Make sure to share your comments on my Facebook page (don’t forget to Like!) Good luck to all of you and have a great season!

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