Recommended age group: 12–13
Time required: one 45–60 minute session
Equipment: Diet of a Champion activity sheets, player for film.


Part 1: Diet of a champion

  1. Share with the group the menus from the Diet of a champion resource sheet or Diet of a champion PowerPoint of athlete 1 (swimmer) and/or athlete 2 (sprinter). Without revealing that these are the diets of athletes, discuss the diet/s asking a series of key questions:
    • Who do you think eats this?
    • What do you think they look like?
    • What do you think they do for a job?
    • Do you think it is a healthy diet?
    • What would happen if you swapped diets and ate this?
  2. Reveal that athlete 1 is the holder of multiple Olympic gold medals and holds world records in swimming and/or athlete 2 is the holder of multiple Olympic gold medals and holds world records in Athletics.
    • Does this surprise you? Why?
    • Why do you think that they eat so much?
  3. Next, show the group images of the diet of the Team GB Rowing team as detailed on the Diet of a champion resource sheet 2 and Diet of a champion PowerPoint. Reveal that the diet is followed by Team GB's heavy weight rowers, explaining that they won lots of medals at the Olympics in 2012 and have continued to be medal holders at the Rowing world championships. If there is time watch the men's coxless four in action at London 2012.

Discuss the following:

  • Do you think this is a healthier diet? Why?
  • What do you think about the quantity of food?
  • Why might they eat so much?
  • Do you think that the amount of food you consume should reflect how much sport/activity you do? Why?
  • Do different sports have different fuel needs?
  • Why is it important to eat food to meet these needs?
  • Using the concept of 'Food is Fuel' what should an elite athlete such as Jess Ennis-Hill or Chris Froome be including in their diet?

Show the group the Teacher support sheet (dietary requirements) and the Comparison chart of a Rugby player and a Marathon Runner's diet on the second page. Discuss these with the group.

Part 2: Healthy habits

  1. Divide young people into small groups and get them to talk about and write bullet points around the following questions:
    • What contributes to our health and wellbeing?
    • Why is health and wellbeing important for:
      • sports performance
      • energy levels
      • academic achievement?
  2. Give each group time to feed back their answers to the whole class and highlight the benefits of healthy eating and why we need to have a balance of all food groups in our diets.
  3. Young people can fill out a Weekly body fuelling and exercise plan so they can identify all their habits over a week.
  4. They can work out which food groups they consume and where they need to make improvements with their nutritional intake.
  5. They can also see how much physical activity they complete throughout the week.
  6. Encourage young people to understand the importance of varying their dietary intake and how their weekly food plan should include a variety of different food groups (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) although not necessarily at every mealtime, but balanced over the whole day and over the week.
  7. Show young people the government Eatwell plate and their daily recommended calorie and breakdown of food groups intake.
  8. Inform young people that they should be completing 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Young people can add up the amounts they complete and see how close they are to the recommended guidelines.

Website links


  • More able groups of children could create an ideal food plan for themselves based upon their findings from their food diary and the guidance of the Eatwell plate. They should also consider their activity levels (e.g. I have football training on Wednesday after school so will need an extra snack to ensure I have enough energy).
  • To finish the lesson off watch the films about Adam Dean (above) and the film called Respect Yourself. As a whole group discuss the case study and draw on any points which young people highlight, particularly around the importance of understanding what you put in your body and consequences associated with this.
  • To further explore nutrition with your students, use the Think Real Fuel resources. These resources aim to give young people the tools to make independent healthy choices, exploring environmental and personal influences on their nutrition and encouraging a positive relationship with food as essential fuel. The Fuel class resources take a general focus on personal development and healthy choices, while the team resources bring more of a sporting focus, for students particularly interested in PE and sport, or taking part in in extra-curricular clubs.