Fuel Smart Tip: Family Favorites
At 41 years old, John Craft embodies the balance many triathletes strive for: splitting time between his wife Lori and two sons (Hunter, 11, and Heath, 9), his job as a fifth-grade teacher, and training. He’s raced the gamut of distances and has now “settled into 70.3’s,” the best fit for his busy schedule.
Craft’s nutritional upbringing was hardly the epitome of good health. “My parents are from Texas. If it wasn’t deep fried it wasn’t on the table!” he says. But his habits have evolved over time. In part, Craft has learned the importance of healthy eating by witnessing his sons. “They’re doing endurance stuff that I wasn’t into as a kid, and I see how as a family we can’t eat the fast-food stuff I ate growing up. If they’re swimming and they’re cranky it’s not because they’re super tired—it’s because they’ve been eating crap.” But practicing proper nutrition can be tricky in a time-strapped family of four. “We try to do quick and easy yet nutritious meals,” says Craft. “Just simple stuff. But Hunter is the pickiest eater I’ve ever met. So my parents came up with an idea. We all sat down for a family meeting and went around the circle, and each person listed all their favorite foods. Then my parents took the boys out and bought them a couple of cookbooks.” The plan is to include at least one item from each boy’s list for dinner, getting them involved in the process and ultimately encouraging new tastes. “The next night the boys made pizza together. We bought the dough pre-made, but they prepared everything else. We had some interesting combinations, but they loved it—and everyone ate.”