Addition by Nutrition: Quick and Easy Performance-Boosting Recipes


Homemade chicken lettuce wraps can be prepared easily for a young athlete.

Mary Ellen Kelly, a sports dietitian who has worked for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and University of North Carolina, recently joined US Lacrosse’s Sports Science and Safety Committee as an advisor for nutrition and sports performance. We asked her to share some performance-boosting recipes that are quick, easy and healthy.

Homemade Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Parents: Looking for a quick, healthy meal to prepare for the young athlete in your family? Try this recipe.


  • 1 lb. ground chicken

  • ½ cup diced carrots

  • ½ cup diced scallions

  • ½ cup diced mushrooms

  • ½ cup diced bell peppers

  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil

  • 1 head of lettuce

  • Brown rice

  • Homemade peanut sauce - ½ cup natural peanut butter, 3 TBSP soy sauce, 3 TBSP maple syrup, 2 TBSP lime juice, 4 TBSP water


1. Sauté ground chicken and all of the veggies over medium-high heat with 2 TBSP vegetable oil.

2. Add homemade peanut sauce to ground chicken and diced vegetable sauté.

3. Scoop into large lettuce leaves and serve with brown rice on the side.

4. Enjoy!

Pre-Game, In-Game and Post-Game Snacks


  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

  • Homemade energy balls (oats, almond butter, maple syrup, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, dried cranberries)

  • Pretzels


  • Banana

  • Granola bar

  • Orange slices


  • Chocolate milk is an excellent recovery beverage, offering fluid, electrolytes, carbs and protein.

  • A homemade recovery smoothie is a great option as well.

  • Tart cherry juice is loaded with antioxidants. Pair this with a turkey sandwich.

Strawberry-Banana Blast Smoothie

  • 8 oz milk or almond milk

  • 1 vanilla Greek yogurt (6 oz)

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

  • 1 small banana

Consider adding a handful of spinach into your smoothie for even more nutrition without altering the taste.

Athletes over age 18 can substitute one scoop of an NSF-certified protein powder, such as Momentous or BiPro, in place of Greek yogurt. More research is needed on the use of dietary supplements in adolescent athletes.

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