My 16-year-old daughter burns a lot of energy. According to the Mayo Clinic’s calorie counter, an active 18 year-old (minimum age that it calculates for) female, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 60 kilograms in weight needs 2,450 calories a day to keep that body going.

I have a feeling that G needs more than the recommended 2,450 calories, because apart from heavy school load, she plays basketball and football, as well as train ferociously on days that she is not on the basketball court or football pitch. She also has not stopped growing yet.

Well, that’s a lot of calories to put in everyday, and she eats like a ravenous horse.  If there is no good, clean calories available, I think she would resort to unhealthy food.  These are our energy staples:


Lots of peanut butter on a small slice of heavy bread (she actually dislikes bread but recognises that she needs carbs).   Opt for peanut butter brands that contain less sugar – if you live in the UK or USA, you can make your own at Whole Foods.


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Avocados are full of nutrients (both vitamins and minerals) and good fats, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A large avocado can contain up to 400 calories!  Here’s an informative article on avocados in The Telegraph – link here.

I mash mine up into a simple (but perhaps not original) guacamole:

2 large avocados

Finely chopped shallots (or Spanish onions)

A few tbsp of sundried tomatoes cut in small pieces (or a handful of fresh tomatoes, cut into small cubes)

Olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

I often have guacamole in the fridge, and it can be used as part of a quick, energy-boosting, calorie-heavy snack:

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