The woman who decides what Hidilyn Diaz eats and drinks, enabling her to perform at an Olympic gold medal-winning level is spreading the importance of proper nutrition – especially to kids who want to nurture their own sports dreams.
Elite performance nutrition coach Jeaneth Aro has launched a series of story books that aim to reach children at the household level, while also giving parents a guide and the chance to not just bond with their kids, but also learn with them about health and nutrition.
The first book in her collection, “Ang Natatagong Lakas ni Bulas Gatas” is about how milk has helped a young 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 pagdating sa 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 she co-authored with eldest son Alex.
“Alam naman natin ang pag-asa na nabibigay ng sports at yung character development na naibibigay ng sports sa lahat,” added the renowned coach, who takes care of the nutritional needs of Diaz and fellow Olympic medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial, as well as former world boxing champion Mark Magsayo, and TNT Tropang Giga basketball team, among others.
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.
“Dapat nagsisimula sa pagkabata ang nutrition, tamang pag-kain. Buti na lang may ganito tayong libro,” Diaz said. “Napaka-importante nito sa pagiging atleta, pagiging simpleng tao. Para mapahaba natin ang buhay natin at kaming mga atleta, para makapag-perform kami ng maayos at mapahaba din yung performance namin as an athlete.”
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.
“Every day may milk ako,” Diaz said. “Kailangan ko yan sa katawan ko, sa muscles ko, sa bones ko. Siyempre nagbubuhat ako, kailangan malakas ako. May tamang nutrisyon ang kinakain ko at mayroon ‘yun sa gatas.”
Coach Jeaneth 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, under their Community Sports and Youth Development Program.
MVPSF President Alfredo S. 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,” said MVPSF Executive Director Jude Turcuato.
A believer in the program, Real California Milk also sponsored the event.
Aro is also inviting milk companies/brands to explore possible partnerships as they reach out to local government units, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders to implement the milk feeding program.
The first book in the “Mga Kuwentong Nutrisyon ni Coach Jeaneth Aro” collection is available for P250. You can purchase by contacting the authors at www.coachjeanetharo.com.