Fall sports season has arrived and with it comes the ever debatable snack schedule. On one side, you have parents who say kids need nothing more than water and a piece of fruit after a game to refuel and stay healthy. On the other hand, you have parents who think it’s no big deal to offer soda, sports drinks, candy, cookies and/or chips after competition. Usually the argument I hear is, “Having a grape soda after the game was the only reason I played soccer as a kid!”
I’m guessing you can tell which side of this debate I land on. While I love to give my kids an occasional treat, I don’t see the point of pumping them full of sugar and salt after a soccer or baseball game. But it’s hard to be on this side of the fence because I get labeled as the boring mom who never brings anything “good” for snacks. I admit I caved a little bit last week when it was my turn. I was only going to bring water bottles and raisin boxes (perfect!), but I ended up buying Teddy Grahams too. I blame peer pressure.
To avoid this cop-out in the future, I thought it might be helpful to put together a list of healthy snacks that aren’t loaded with things the kids don’t need. Yes, fruit dominates this list, but it’s naturally sweet and perfect for refueling young bodies.
1. Apple slices (squeeze lemon or lime juice over slices to keep from browning)
2. Healthy trail mix (make your own and pre-portion into snack size bags)
3. Frozen fruit (tasty and refreshing, mix frozen grapes and berries and keep in the cooler until the game is over)
4. Organic yogurt tubes (freeze the day before and let thaw in a cooler during the game)
5. Applesauce squeezers (look for the no-sugar added brands)
6. Orange slices (a soccer tradition)
7. Raisin boxes
8. String cheese
10. Grapes and Carrots (package up like a butterfly using a snack sized bag and a clothespin)
And for the record, water is my beverage of choice. If you think that’s boring, you could always get crafty and add decorations.
Let me know what you think of these ideas and what side of the debate you fall on!
And for more on this topic, check out dietitian Sally Kuzemchak’s post “That Mom: The Sequel.”