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Fuelling a Canfordian

Fuelling a Canfordian

Canfordians lead busy lifestyles, having to balance their academic, sporting, artistic and social commitments. This, combined with the fact that most will experience growth spurts while at Canford, means that they will have high energy requirements that need fulfilling with high quality nutrition.

Matt Smith, Canford's Head of Athletic Development explains how he, as part of the 'Beyond the Gates' programme, educates Canfordians on the importance of quality nutrition and lifelong healthy dietary habits.

Correct nutrition is critical during teenage years to support physical development and fuel activity. During adolescence one third of all lifetime growth occurs, there is a rapid increase in bone mineralization, development of the immune system and establishment of dietary habits. It is important that Canfordians eat enough calories to support these changes and the extra demands of school life. This can be achieved through frequent meals and snacks. At most meals foods high in carbohydrates should make up around 45-50% of the plate, with protein-rich foods and fats making up 25-30%, and fruit and veg making up the remaining 25-30%. This should ensure that pupils have an appropriate energy source, enough protein for growth and repair and a varied diet to get all the essential vitamins and minerals they need.

As part of the unique Canford ‘Beyond the Gates’ programme, a nutrition session is delivered to all Lower Sixth pupils which discusses the fundamentals of nutrition. This covers topics such as why fuelling yourself correctly in adolescence is important, what makes up energy expenditure and energy intake, what fuelling yourself correctly looks like and how that can be achieved at school. We then jump into discussions about how to fuel the different phases of the menstrual cycle, what foods make the different macro/micronutrients, and the logistics of nutrition at university.

The goal of these sessions is to help Canfordians become educated around the importance of quality nutrition and to have lifelong healthy dietary habits.