Back To School Sports Series – PreGame Meals

This week, let’s chat about pre-game meals. A lot of schools partner up with a food service to provide meal delivery before games.

I think it’s an excellent service for both the athlete and the busy parent. However, the options are not always geared towards fueling the athlete with energy or strong performances.

For example, last year, our school district partnered up with Zaxby’s for football. The athletes had a choice between fried or grilled chicken. Anything fried or high in fat should never be an option before a game.

If an athlete doesn’t know better, what choice do you think they’ll make? Of course, fast food, pizza, or anything fried – it’s tastier! Then coaches get frustrated when their athletes are moving slowly, and their head isn’t in the game. ????????‍♀️

A better option would be a grilled chicken sandwich, side salad, and fruit.

During the Basketball season, the school partnered up with Jason’s Deli; for the most part, their sandwich box choices are good, but to make them even better, leave out the chips and cookie. Or save them for AFTER the game as a treat.

My other complaint would be offering a croissant as a bread option. It’s too high in fat and will slow digestion. Instead, choose plain or whole wheat bread, a side salad, and fruit.

I wished schools would partner up with Chipotle. They offer quality ingredients, and their bowls would be the perfect fuel for athletes before a game. And you can ask for double rice and protein for athletes that require more calories.  Pregame meals should be eaten at least 2 hours before the game to ensure the food has started digesting and is on deck for energy use.

Here’s an example of a bowl for an athlete that requires extra fuel:
  • Double Chicken
  • Double Rice
  • Lettuce
  • Beans (if the stomach tolerates – if you include beans, cut back on the rice)
  • A little guacamole (just need about 1-2 tbs)
  • A little sour cream (1 tbs)
  • Salsa – optional


Chipotle is our go-to pre-game meal. What I’ve been doing is getting Ayden’s meal the night before the game and packing it in his lunch cooler. He can’t warm it up anyways, so he just eats it cold and is fine with that.

Typically our school would allow deliveries and that would be the better option as Chipotle does deliver, buuuut, this year is different, of course!

Just remember anything heavy, fried, or high in fat will slow digestion and block the use of protein and carbs for energy. Game-day nutrition isn’t about eating for pleasure, it’s about eating for performance!

Ok, that wraps up our Back To School – Sports Series! I’d really love your feedback, did you find it helpful? Leave a comment and let me know!

If you missed any of the topics, you can find them here: Pre-Workout TipsPost-Workout Tips, and Fueling for Focused Learning In School.