Hosting a Carb Fest for High Schoolers

Carbohydrate loading is a practice used by endurance athletes to maximize the storage of glycogen in the muscles. And for high school athletes, it’s a great excuse for a team-bonding party.


If you are new to hosting a carbo party there are a few “how to’s” you’ll need to know.

1. Paper Goods and Balloons

Paper goods in the school colors are a must. For instance, New Trier High School’s colors are green and blue. Buy one-two plastic tablecloths in green and one-two in blue. Matching napkins, forks, knives, and plates are important as well. I like to buy sturdy paper or plastic plates that can support the mounds of pasta the girls heap onto their plates.

There are many places to buy inexpensive paper goods. Party City or Factory Card and Party Outlet come to mind as stores with a good selection and good prices. But if your child attends either New Trier High School, Loyola High School, Glenbrook North High School or Glenbrook South High School, then the best place to buy paper goods is Card and Party Giant in Glenview.

They not only carry all the tablecloths and paper goods one could ever need but they also have the school name and emblem printed on the napkins and balloons. Oh yes—balloons. Buy two or three and tie them in front of your house so the girls can find your house easily.

Party City:

227 Skokie Valley Rd
Highland Park, Illinois
(847) 831-4700

5415 West Touchy Ave .
Skokie, Illinois
(847) 673-5700

Factory Card and Party Outlet:
9705 Skokie Blvd
Skokie, Illinois
(847) 329-0955

Card and Party Giant:
1015 Waukegan Rd.
Glenview, Illinois
(773) 342-1500

2. Food

Main course: Homemade is great but … I recommend Maggiano’s. The kids love it and they deliver! For 25-30 kids, order one full pan of each entree and one and half pans of the salad.

Here are some of my kids and their friends’ favorites:

Rigatoni D ($65.25 a full tray)
Rigatoni pasta, herb roasted boneless chicken, mushrooms and onions, tossed in a light Marsala cream sauce.

Zitti Marinara ($53.25 a full tray)
Zitti Marinara served with their classic blend of tomatoes, basil, oregano and olive oil, slightly sweet.
Caesar Salad ($65 one and a half trays)
A traditional Caesar salad of romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing, croutons and shaved parmesan cheese.
Garlic Bread ($25 a full tray)
Bread buttered with a mixture of butter, oil, red pepper and garlic.

You can pick up or have it delivered. Cost for delivery is 15% of entire bill.

Maggiano’s Little Italy
4999 Old Orchard Center
Skokie, Illinois
(847) 933-0955

Dessert: Homemade desserts are always a hit but if you don’t have time to bake pick up the phone and call Bennisons Bakery in Evanston. Bennisons will make brownies, cookies and cakes to order. I have ordered large sugar cookies and brownies with a green and blue New Trier initials written on top! Not to mention the wonderful cakes they create..and they taste as good as they look! They also deliver.

Bennison’s Bakery:
1000 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-9434

3. Craft or gift: Show your team spirit!
This is where the boys and girls diverge. No cutesy crafts or gifts for the boys. Put the game on the TV and they are set. With girls you have to be a lot more creative … and if you are unlucky enough to host the carbo near the end of the season most of the good crafts/gifts have been taken. But be creative: the sky is the limit. Below are some tried and true “give aways”:

Picture (and frame)

Lucite frame with team photo.
Caption printed on the photo.

Pillow cases and print with team names around a logo saying:
“We dream of ______”

Bring to:
Laser reproductions:
8228 N. McCormick Blvd.
Skokie, Illinois
(847) 677-8333 ext. 5

Draw string bags:
Order from Chicago Printing:

Hair Ribbons:
Cut strips of ribbons in school colors. Tie them on a ponytail holder.

Sport angel pins:
For good luck and team building

Choker necklace
Ring charms are available for almost all sports imaginable:
Cut strips from stockings. Tie charm on and wear as a necklace.

Printed and tie dyed T-shirts

Buy Men’s undershirts. Target often has sales and a large selection. Take them to be printed at Evanston Imprintables. Very reasonably priced. Only $4.50 for front and back printing. Use Tulip brand tie dye (available at all Michaels Stores). Tulip is the easiest to use because it only requires a one step process. The shirt does not have to be soaked in ash before dying.

Evanston Imprintables
1701 Central St.
Evanston, Il
(847) 425-3990