When it comes to meeting the nutritional needs of HISD students, Nutrition Services’ work isn’t limited to the cafeteria. Their efforts go beyond the plate and all the way to the athletic field.
Nutrition Services Dietitian Nan Cramer and Chef Trainer Brittany Jones recently visited Delmar Stadium to serve up samples of green power smoothies — a tasty blend of apple, banana, soy milk, kale, no-nut butter, and vanilla extract — and to educate coaches, players, and parents on the impact of proper nutrition on athletes.
He eagerly sampled the smoothie and gave his approval.
“I can taste all the flavors,” Hamilton Middle School eighth-grader Lamont Robins said as he eagerly sampled the smoothie and signaled his approval. The student athlete plays football, basketball, and runs track and cross-country. “The banana is my favorite.”
Cramer said she is working with the Athletics Department because she wants coaches to know that Nutrition Services dietitians are available to educate their teams on healthy eating, noting that you can find nutritional value in something as simple as a smoothie.
The goal, Cramer said, is to enhance student performance and success as a whole.
“It will also help athletes succeed on a personal level if they know how to fuel themselves and how to take care of their nutrition,” Cramer said.
HISD Director of Athletics and UIL Activities Andre’ Walker said it’s a big task to reach all student-athletes and involving coaches is crucial.
“When coaches push kids to give 100 percent, they may not be able to because they’re not getting what they need,” Walker said. “If we put the right nutrition in their system, they’re going to perform better.”
In addition to samples, Nutrition Services staff also offers recipes, helpful information about pre-game and post-game nutrition, and a visual representation of an athlete’s plate.
Nutrition Services Chef Trainer Brittany Jones said she loves interacting with students and parents.
“A lot of the time, parents don’t understand what we do and why we do it,” Jones said. “It’s good to educate them on what Nutrition Services is about.”