The woman who decides what Hidilyn Diaz will eat and drink to perform at an Olympic level is spreading the importance of proper nutrition, especially to kids who want to nurture their own athletic dreams.
Nutrition coach Jeaneth Aro had formally launched a series of story books that aim to reach children at the household level while giving parents a guide and chance to bond with their kids while teaching them facts about health and nutrition.
The first book in her collection, “Ang Natatagong Lakas ni Bulas Gatas” is about how milk has helped an aspiring basketball player achieve his goals.
“I want to give back to our community by helping the grassroots athletes, by giving them the opportunity to achieve their potential in sports,” said Aro, a former University of the Philippines taekwondo athlete and now a registered nutritionist-dietician, during the launch of her 37-page children’s book that she co-authored with her eldest son, Alex.
She also takes care the nutritional needs of Diaz and fellow Olympic medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial as well as professional boxer Mark Magsayo and the TNT Tropang Giga basketball squad of the Philippine Basketball Association.
“We know that sports give us hope while developing our characters.”
Diaz, just days after tying the knot with head coach Julius Naranjo, took time to attend the book launch and congratulated Aro on her first book in the series.
“Proper nutrition should start during childhood. It’s really good that we have a book like this,” Diaz said.
“This is very important for athletes and even ordinary citizens. For ordinary people, this helps them live a healthy lifestyle while for athletes like us, this helps us perform properly and extend our playing careers.”
Aro makes sure to include one 220-milliliter glass of milk in the daily meal plan of Diaz, who, after her vacation, is preparing for the World Championships in December as qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics where she is looking for an encore to her historic Tokyo Olympics conquest.
“I drink milk everyday,” Diaz said.
We know that sports give us hope while developing our characters.
“I need milk to develop my muscles and bones. Since I lift weights, I need to be strong. My diet needs proper nutrition, especially milk.”
Aro is pledging a percentage from the total sales of the book to fund a Milk Feeding Program for Young Athletes in partnership with the MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) under their Community Sports and Youth Development Program.
MVPSF president Al Panlilio believes that “youth grassroots development has always been an integral part of MVPSF’s core values. We have to underscore the importance of proper nutrition in all our grassroots activities which will enable us to have sustainable national sports programs.”
“We strongly embrace our pivotal role in helping launch this nutrition education campaign together with Coach Jeaneth Aro to empower the youth with the knowledge to make healthy food and beverage choices,” MVPSF executive director Jude Turcuato said.