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Eating for the Relay – Top tips from Coast Sport

coast sport, jo allan, dietitian, accredited dietitian, ali redman

Oatmeal with green apples, nuts and cinnamon for breakfast

Eating for the relay: top tips from Coast Sport on how to best fuel your body

So, you have registered for the Relay for Life, well done!

Now what are you going to eat?

The Mingara Relay for Life event commences at 3pm and goes all night and finishes after breakfast the next day. So, what about food and drink?

This year the Mingara Relay for Life will have a number of pop-up vendors and will also provide participants with a free BBQ breakie, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared and bring your own too.

Coast Sport nutritionist, Jo Allan is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) and an Accredited Sports Dietitian (ASD) with over 20 years- experience. Being an elite athlete herself as well as working with many sports people, clubs and associations including the Central Coast Academy of Sport, Jo is highly experienced in helping athletes and everyday people best prepare for sporting events.

With a positive focus on health and wellbeing, Jo shares some ideas for healthier food for the Mingara Relay for Life event, that are convenient and portable.


Savoury muffins, cheese and bacon rolls, vegemite scrolls, cup cakes (purple of course), nuts and seeds, protein balls, muesli bars, cheese and crackers, dips and vegie sticks and why not try making some pretzel turtles (see recipe below).


Think picnic food: deli meats, cold BBQ chicken, tofu, haloumi and cheese with tabbouli, quinoa or cous cous salads, or even a plain salad. These can be piled onto a bread roll, or used to fill a wrap, tortilla or pocket bread. Vietnamese rice paper wraps filled with rice noodles, vegie sticks and chicken or pork are easy make at home, and healthy, portable and easy to eat. You could also assemble your own nachos; you just need a bowl, corn chips, a tin of Mexi-beans and some grated cheese for a quick, healthy meal that doesn’t require any cooking.


Long life custard and tinned fruit are great for dessert, or you could freeze some ‘squeezy’ yoghurt packs, or have some good Aussie lamingtons and Tim Tams on hand for a sweet treat.


The weather could be cold or hot, rainy or windy, (Relay only stops for hail or lightening storms), so keeping your fluid up for such a long event is vital. Why not fill an Esky with a variety of drinks to help encourage adequate fluid: water bottles, juice poppers and tetra packs of long-life flavoured milk are a few examples. Remember if you feel thirsty, you are already dry and in need of hydration. Try to sip fluid regularly, a good guide for walking is about half a cup every 15-20 minutes (more if hot and humid).

Breakfast is provided during the relay, and there are plenty of on-the-go breakfast options including breakfast drinks (such as Up & Go), breakfast biscuits, and even breakfast cereal in a ready to go pack. Other options could include finger buns, pikelets and jam or fresh fruit.

Pretzel Turtles Recipe

24 pecan halves
24 mini pretzel twists
24 individually wrapped caramel squares, unwrapped.
250g of good quality chocolate (dark or milk)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Put the pecan halves on a baking tray in a single layer and bake, shaking the sheet once halfway through, until lightly toasted, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
Line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange the pretzels neatly on the baking sheet, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped caramel. Bake until the caramels soften (but are definitely not melting), 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently press a pecan half onto each caramel, just enough for the caramel to fill the pretzel. Set aside to cool completely.
Remove the cooled pretzel/caramels from the baking sheet. Spoon 24 small dollops (1 1/2-teaspoon helpings) of the melted chocolate all over the baking sheet, then lightly drop a pretzel onto the middle of each dollop, making sure the pretzel is centred. Allow them to cool completely before serving (you can hasten this along in the fridge).

Coast Sport helping to outrun cancer - Proud major sponsor of the Midnight 5KM race.

With a vision to keep ‘the Central Coast feeling well, moving well and performing well’, Coast Sport located in Mariners Centre of Excellence in Tuggerah is a passionate supporter of the Cancer Council and in active cancer prevention. Providing a comprehensive range of allied health services including, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Sport Nutrition, Massage, Exercise Physiology, Pilates and Yoga, Coast Sport provides premium quality healthcare services through clinical excellence.

This year, Coast Sport is thrilled to be supporting the Mingara Relay for Life and is also the major sponsor of the exciting Midnight 5Km Race.

If you have any concerns in the lead up to the relay please feel free to book in an appointment with Coast Sport today, the team will be more than happy to get you relay ready!

To book an appointment, call (02) 4356 2588 or book online via the button below.

Book an appointment online!

Thanks to Coast Sport nutritionist Jo Allan for preparing this blog. You can find out more about Jo here.