Armed with saucepans and spatulas, Carlton’s first-year players headed to the William Angliss Institute on Tuesday morning ready to cook up a storm.
Draftees Jacob Weitering, Harry McKay, Jack Silvagni, Charlie Curnow and David Cuningham, along with rookie recruits Jesse Glass-McCasker and Andrew Gallucci, produced a protein-packed breakfast as part of Carlton's ‘Nutrition and Food Preparation Program’.
The four-week program, created by Carlton’s sports dietician Tim Stewart and proudly supported by LaManna Direct, aims to teach the first-years about the benefits of healthy eating and how it can improve their performance.
“Nutrition education is really important, so while the players are cooking the food it’s important they’re also learning why we’re cooking this particular meal,” Stewart said.
“With these young players it’s about focussing on what they can eat quickly and easily, while making sure it’s really healthy and nutritious as well.”
Tuesday's first lesson focussed on breakfast options, with the players making poached eggs with avocado, as well as ham, mushroom, tomato and cottage cheese fritters.
However before the players had a chance to ignite their stovetops, they headed to the local supermarket for a guided tour.
Stewart accompanied the players around the supermarket, pointing out what isles they should and shouldn’t visit, and what key numbers to look for on nutritional tables.
Standing at 200cm tall, it’s fair to say Carlton forward Harry McKay had no difficulty reaching the top shelves on the supermarket tour.
“I think it was good to get an understanding of what kind of products are high in sugar and what’s not, we had our dietician with us so it was really good to have a look around,” McKay said.
“As a footballer it’s crucial you eat the right foods, a lot of work is put into your body and you don’t want to undo it by eating the wrong stuff.”
While the 18-year-old says his poached eggs and fritters were “lovely”, his specialty dish usually appears at dinner time.
“I make a nice little stuffed pocket chicken, so I might have to bring that out in a couple of weeks, and I’m also not too bad at pasta,” Harry said with a smile.
The players will have plenty of motivation to practice their new cooking skills at home, with a ‘Carlton Master Chef’ cook-off planned as the grand finale – and it’s safe to say they’ll want to impress the judges.
Stay tuned to Carlton Media for regular updates on the first-years cooking program.