With the arrival of spring sports comes a renewed fury for the so-called “soccer snack moms.” For the one hour that kids run loose on the field, whole committees of moms are organized around the snacks. There are even families with whole coolers ready with grub for the game.
Now, let’s be honest. While there are plenty of youth athletes that need serious fuel for elite sports, most of our kids would be fine on the field with a small, healthy snack (or no snack at all!). And none of our kids are better off eating more calories than they burn during practice or games.
Here are 5 healthy ideas to keep everyone energized and happy.
- Stick to water. Sports drinks and juices are rarely necessary for kids’ sports and add unnecessary calories. All that hype about electrolytes? Your kids will be fine without it. Water quenches thirst just as well.
- Team snacks are great, when they’re healthy. No doubt one of the challenges of packing healthy snacks for kids is when yours is the only one eating healthy. Coordinate with like-minded moms to pack healthy food for the whole group. Some teams are even able to work with a local produce store to deliver a box of fruit at games for a very reasonable price. When it’s your turn, pack fruit. It’s hydrating, has natural sugars and electrolytes (quick energy) and is low calorie. You won’t be the most popular, but guess what? If they’re hungry, they’ll eat it!
- Pack popcorn. Healthy varieties of popcorn are a great sports’ snack that nearly all kids enjoy.
- Eat well before the game. Sports nutrition, especially for serious athletes, starts the day before the big game or race. Coming to game day well nourished means less room and need for junky snacks.
- If all else fails, get creative. While you don’t have to be a food artist to get your kids to eat healthy food, a little ingenuity can’t hurt. Pinterest is chock full of healthy snack ideas that are not time consuming.