I have always heard stories of teams giving protein supplements to their players but legally this is a huge NO NO, and i highly advise against that. I want to share some perfectly legal things I have done, to help my players eat more calories throughout the day, to help them put on some size and strength.
After School Program
We have a pretty robust After School Program here with a number of academic and enrichment activities. Our off season weight lifting operates along with the "FIT Club". Any student who participates is given a free snack, and a free dinner. This is a great resource to have and I know we are lucky to have it. This is the easiest one for me, because it is completely free to our students and myself. I just have to take attendance everyday, and the students who come and stay for the duration of our workouts get a snack from me on their way out the door, and can go to the cafeteria for a dinner after that.
Financing Your Food
- The rest of the ideas all come with a cost. Someone has to pay for more food beyond the after school program. Some options include
- A booster Club/touchdown club fundraising
- Parents donating groceries
- Seeking player/parent donations to purchase food
- Food donations
- Coach(es) buying the food
I personally buy all of the extra food out of my own pocket. I keep my receipts, and document the cost of my donations on an excel sheet.
The ideas I am going to share below are calorie dense, and relatively cheap. Teacher's obviously don't make a whole lot so I try to get the most bang for my buck in terms of calories per dollar. I also take what they like and some variety in to account. The kids have to WANT to eat in order to get big. Every kid says "I eat a lot"... no they do not, otherwise they would have no problem putting on weight.
There are plenty of apps that can calculate basal caloric needs (at least ballpark range) based on age, height, weight, and activity level.
You need to add 500 calories to that amount, every single day just to gain weight at a rate of 1lb per week. If a kid is really active, add more.
Before I share the foods I buy weekly, please keep the hippie comments to yourself. I do not want to hear about "junk food", at the end of the day I personally believe they need more calories overall. I try to pick out foods that are also high in protein, since i can't give them protein supplements. So if you have something negative to say, drive your Prius to your local CrossFit gym and leave me alone :)
I have a large table in the back of my classroom. I keep it stocked with Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Bread. PB and Jelly I have found is usually cheapest in double packs at Costco or Sam's Club. I usually get the bread from a local discount grocery store, they are under $1 a loaf. This is a really easy way to add calories, kids can come in any time, make a sandwich or two in about 30 seconds and head to their next class. I have a big group of kids who come in and make one every day before school otherwise they would never eat breakfast. I keep plates, napkins, wipes, and plastic ware all on the back table so they can clean up and make their sandwiches without having to bug me. Probably the best bang for my buck and can feed a lot of kids for cheap.
These are great. I use these for a few specific kids I am really trying to bulk up with extra calories. Each of these 3 items cost less than $1, and the kids love them. Yes there is a lot of carbs and fat, but there is also a good amount of protein. They just need calories. The cheesburger Mac is every kid's favorite, they absolutely love it. The Totino's pizza is a great value, only a dollar, and it is 680 calories if a kid eats the whole thing.
I have a full size fridge/freezer next to the PB&J station and I keep the freezer stocked up with these items.
Pop Tarts are great. They are cheap and pretty calorie dense. The 2 pastries that come in each foil pack are usually at least 400 calories total. I can get 4 packs for under $2. That is less than 50 cents for 400 calories. It is pretty much all Carbs but I have found them to be really convenient when a kid doesn't have time to make a sandwich, or I want to give him something he can put in his backpack, and eat later in the day for a snack.