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 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 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 she co-authored with eldest son Alex.
“We’re all aware of the hope and character development that sports provide,” 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 the TNT Tropang Giga team members, among others.
Aro pledged to help raise funds for the Milk Feeding Program for Young Athletes in partnership with the MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) under their Community Sports and Youth Development Program, from the sale of the book.
“Youth grassroots development has always been an integral part of MVPSF’s core values.,” MVPSF President Alfredo Panlilio said. “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.
Diaz, just days after tying the knot with head coach Julius Naranjo, took time to attend the book launch and congratulated Aro.
“Nutrition and proper food intake should start with the kids, it’s great that we have this kind of book,” Diaz said. “This is very important for an athlete for better performance and for an ordinary person for a healthier lifestyle.”
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 Paris 2024 Olympics where she aims for a second gold medal.
“I drink milk everyday,” Diaz said. “My muscles and bones need the milk.”
A believer in the program, Real California Milk also sponsored the event.
Aro is also inviting milk companies and 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. Online purchase could be made at www.coachjeanetharo.com.