FOUR budding nutritionists dreamed up winning menus fit to feed an Olympic athlete.

The quartet were the gold medal winners from hundreds of primary and special school pupils who entered the contest, coinciding with the climax of the Olympic Games.

Voicing his approval of their choice of tasty treats yesterday was Olympian Jared Deacon.

The athlete, a PE teacher in Sunderland, was a member of Britain's four by 400m men's relay squad, which reached the Olympic final in Sydney in September.

He was asked to present the prizes to the four winning menu-makers in a ceremony at Sunderland's Puma Centre.

The four winners were Charlotte Lockwood, of Holly Park Primary, Washington, Ruth Goodman, of East Herrington Primary, Patrick Southam, of Ryhope Juniors, and Rachel Old, of Hill View Juniors, all in Sunderland.

Charlotte went for a chicken and pasta dish with trimmings, including cherries, while Ruth used the Olympic theme, suggesting gold medal fish fingers, Olympic onion and pepper rings, plus discus cucumber.

Patrick chose another chicken dish, but with a selection of fruit and vegetables, which suitably included runner beans, and Rachel opted for pork chop, with broccoli, peas and carrots, plus orange juice and apple.

The successful quartet will be popular with their classmates, as each won three hours' specialist coaching for their respective schools in the sport of their choice.

Had Jared sampled any of the four before the Olympic relay it may have given the extra impetus to the British quartet, who finished sixth behind the gold medal winning US team in the Sydney final