Thursday, April 27, 2017

10 Healthy Game Day Snacks for Kids

provide healthy snacks for your child and teammates
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Spring marks the kick-off to many spring sports like baseball, tee-ball, soccer, track and many other great outdoor (and indoor) activities.

Our two boys are both starting their spring baseball leagues and at least once or twice will be asked to bring a snack to share with their teammates.

When it comes to game day snacks for the kids I'm a little concerned about the message conveyed to a child athlete who just participated in an athletic event/game when sugary drinks and sugary snacks are passed out. Seems kind of backwards to me!

I get that a little treat now and then is ok but come on let's not take all that hard work and exercise and wash it down with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients!

Look around - it is no surprise that kids all over our great country are struggling with obesity -even young athletes. Seems like a great time to reinforce healthy eating is by encouraging it through healthy snacking as a team. Why not tap into the power of peer pressure and encourage the team to snack together on healthy foods.

Sugary sports drinks, or "adult kook-aid", as I call it, gets pushed so hard onto our young athletes. Look at the convenient "kid size" bottles it comes in - just making it so easy for a parent to grab and pass out to the team after a game. Have you read the label? Yikes! This stuff is horrible. From my little bit of research into these drinks they are useful for athletes who have been participating in a high intensity sport for more than 90 minutes.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that these sports drinks which are high in carbohydrates, minerals, electrolytes and artificial flavorings can contribute to childhood obesity and tooth decay.

So as a parent what kind of snacks and drinks can we send with our kids to share with their teammates on game day? Well here is a quick list of ten healthy snacks and drinks you can encourage your child's teammates to eat after the big game

1. An apple with peanut butter or almond butter
source: joyfulhealthyeats

If you are in a hurry you could slice up the apples, pop them into ziploc bags and pair them with a small single peanut butter packet to go (Jiff To Go). To keep the apples from browning splash a bit of orange juice on them before zipping the bag closed.

2. Trail Mix

source: love bake read

If you have never made your own trail mix and are looking for a great recipe Love.Bake.Read has a simple and healthy recipe that is sure to please a crowd. If you are in a hurry it is easy to find single pack trail mixes in bulk from Costco or through Amazon.

3. Larabar

The Larabar is a real food option if you need to but a snack for the team. It is somewhat high in sugar but it isn't the processed sugar you would find in other snacks. The sugar is a natural food based sugar.

4. Breakfast Cookies

source: spend with pennies

I know these delicious snacks are called "breakfast" cookies but really they can be eaten anytime for a healthy energy boosting snack or for a post workout/game snack. This recipe I found is super simple, healthy and downright delicious!! You can find the recipe here.

5. String Cheese + Crackers

Now here is a snack that you can easily find in bulk - Goldfish Crackers & String Cheese. Healthy and tastes great - a win for both you and your little athlete.

6. Applesauce

I just love the little plastic to-go cups you can pick up in bulk or the squeezable pouches. This is a great way to promote a healthy snack post game time all while keeping it simple for a busy parent to grab on the way to the game.

7. Turkey Cheese Roll-Ups

source: healthysnacksforwork

This is a great snack to make ahead, pop into the fridge and grab before the game starts. Stacking the easy to grab roll-ups in a tupperware container and then passing them around to the team after the game is a great way to provide a healthy snack to the team.

8. Chocolate Milk

Who doesn't love chocolate milk? Young athletes need milk especially post workout so why not add a little chocolate to up the "cool" factor to this healthy snack. Shelf stable milk doesn't even need to be refriderated however a nice cold milk always tastes good after working out!

9. Fruit Kabobs

Source: happy home fairy
Here is a make-ahead team snack you can whip up in no time and store in the fridge until game day. The mix of fruit and color makes them look so yummy any child athlete will be tempted to gobble them up.

10. Citrus Infused Water

source: lifesanity
Mix up a big jug of this citrus infused water to share with the team! It might seem a little strange to some of the kids but one sip and they might change their minds. Some teams have those big water dispensers with paper cups for the team to use during the game. Why not add some flavor (and good healthy benefits too) to the water for the team to share. Water is the best thing you can give your child to drink before, during and after the game but it doesn't have to be plain old boring water - add some flavor and see what happens.

I hope these ideas have provided you with some inspiration as you get ready to cheer on your kids and share a healthy snack with the team. You might want to pack a few extra for siblings and friends who might be curious about these healthy (and yummy) snacks!

Maybe you have some great healthy snack ideas - yes, please share with the rest of us!! Leave a comment and tell me about it.


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