Energy and Healthy Eating Programs in Australian Schools

Managing our levels of energy throughout the day is essential for making sure we’re properly energised for work, rest, and play. It’s important for everyone, but it’s especially critical for students to maintain a consistent level of energy to allow them to thrive both academically and physically.

While several factors can affect a student’s level of energy, individual dietary choices can play a huge role. A competent caterer experienced in implementing healthy eating programs in Australian schools can help support schools to keep their students wide-eyed and bushy tailed, but some individual strategies can help keep your energy high even as the sun begins to sink. 

Here’s five favourites straight from our Food Team! 


#1: Don’t skip breakfast!

Whether you’re hungry or not, breakfast is a powerful tool for helping to stabilise your energy levels. When we wake up, we already might not have eaten for as many as twelve hours; if we skip breakfast, this fast is extended, which can lead to problematically low blood sugar levels. 

Concerningly low blood sugar levels can result in the sensation of “highs and lows” within your levels of energy, feelings of sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, and generally feeling like you’re not at your best. 

#2: Carbohydrates: a grain of rice in a haystack 

Carbohydrates are an essential fuel for providing the body with the energy needed for exercise and day-to-day activities, but not all carbohydrates are created equal. Highly refined carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (GI) typically provide a quick burst of energy followed by a distinct crash, while low GI carbohydrates break down more slowly in the body and provide a sustained feeling of energy and fullness. 

To help keep your energy levels high, try swapping out common high GI foods for low GI alternatives. A few of these swaps include: 

      • Choosing multigrain bread over white bread.
      • Choosing to eat muesli instead of a cereal like Rice Bubbles.
      • Choosing to cook with sweet potato rather than white potato. 

    #3: The power of protein

    Protein is well known as the building block of muscle, but it’s also important for maintaining your levels of energy. Coupling carbohydrates with a healthy dose of protein can slow digestion, meaning your body will create more stable blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes.

    Adding more protein into your diet is easy. Some quick and easy additions can include: 

    • Meat
    • Fish
    • Poultry
    • Eggs
    • Tofu
    • Milk
    • Yoghurt
    • Cheese

    #4: Hydration, hydration, hydration

    Maintaining levels of adequate hydration promotes cognitive function, enhances alertness, provides concentration, and allows for greater mental clarity. Inversely, dehydration leads to fatigue, diminished cognitive performance, and reduced physical endurance. Prioritising regular water intake can help avoid these symptoms developing and keep your levels of energy stable.

    Generally speaking, 8 cups of water per day is a safe target to aim for to maintain hydration. However, make sure to drink more if you’re engaged in vigorous exercise or the temperature starts climbing! 

    #5: Throw the junk food in the junk

    Discretionary foods contain high amounts of added sugar, salt, and/or saturated fats. They provide little to no nutritional value, and typically could be loosely grouped as “junk food”. They provide little to no nutritional value, and could prove actively harmful to your health.

    The high levels of added sugar in these foods often result in sugar spikes and crashes, causing highly unstable levels of energy throughout the day. Keeping discretionary foods to a minimum can have a beneficial impact on your energy levels – and the rest of your health!  


    Getting ready to recharge

    Students of all ages and disciplines lead active young lives, and it’s important that their diet supports their efforts to excel in every area. By maintaining healthy eating programs in Australian schools, we can help ensure that students have the best springboard of health to assist in their endeavours. 

    If you want to be able to rest easy knowing that your school or residential hall’s caterer is providing your students with the highest-octane fuel they can, then get in touch with David O’Brien via the contact details below. 


    To find out more, get in touch with David O’Brien to have a quick chat about how gather can provide your students and residents with a well-rounded and connecting mealtime experience.

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