You want to be a role model for your kids. You want them to look up to you, to follow your lead, to respect you. But sometimes it doesn’t hurt to recruit ane outside influence to point the little ’uns in the right direction, especially when it comes to their diet. You can set a good example by wolfing down greens at every opportunity but there’s no way you can shield their impressionable eyes from ads for high-fat high-sugar high-calorie junk food.
So Coach is completely behind world-famous people backing you up when it comes to vegetables, and sports-wise they don’t come much more famous than Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates. The players and, less famous but probably more useful in this context, the nutrition team at the Spanish superclub have paired up with home appliance company Beko to create Eat Like A Pro (opens in new tab), a website that lavishes you with recipes and healthy eating tips that will help your kids eat better – not least because Barcelona’s star men are telling them to.
Healthy recipes are a big part of what Eat Like A Pro offers. There’s a handy spinner where you choose the meal you want to cook (breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert) and how long you have to make it (from as little as ten minutes), which then offers a selection of recipes that fit the bill. There’s also a raft of recipes that you can make with your kids to get them interested in cooking, including a spectacular loaf of brown bread shaped like a rabbit wearing a bow tie.
Each recipe has a video and step-by-step instructions, along with noting the physical and performance benefits you get from eating the finished result. So the aforementioned bunny bread will benefit your agility, power and speed, for example. How do you think Messi won all those Ballon d’Ors? Bunny bread!
Along with recipes you’ll find a whole host of food styling tips on the Eat Like A Pro site, because creating a picture on a plate using food is one surefire way to interest your kids in healthy food. You can create a sloth using braised beef, mashed potatoes, carrots, dates and pickled ginger, or make a terrifying clown face poké bowl.
The Barcelona players get involved with the cheer generator, which allows you to select a player holding a customised board that applauds your child for finishing a portion of a certain food. There is also a series of video interviews where players discuss questions around healthy eating. Ivan Rakitic details how he started eating healthily, for example, while Luis Suárez is asked if he has ever eaten any weird yet super-healthy food and somehow passes up the opportunity to make a Giorgio Chiellini joke.
If you have a football-mad kid who rejects any and all healthy food Eat Like A Pro might be just the ticket for helping to change their mind. And even if your kids hate football as much as they do healthy food, they’re still going to enjoy making a bow-tie-wearing-rabbit-shaped loaf of bread, because no human on earth wouldn’t enjoy doing that.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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