Top 10 Sideline Snacks for Kids Sports
Picture this… you’re sitting on the sideline at your kids’ (sports) game. You’re hungry. S/he’s hungry. You’re digging around your purse looking for something to eat. You pull out an apple, granola bar, and lollipop. You’re kid eats the granola bar, which leaves you with the apple and lollipop. You think, well, I should keep the apple just in case s/he’s hungry after the game… so I’ll have the lollipop please.
After the game, your kid is ravished. S/he doesn’t want to eat an apple… “I want real food mom!”. So you book it home (dropping off the other kids in your carpool), rip open the fridge and pantry, and decide to make pasta… again. Throughout the season, you’re doing more harm than good to your kids’ minds and bodies – AND – you’ll probably put on 10 lbs in the process. Hey, at least your kid is exercising! Oh, and your kids can eat thousands more calories than you… because they have kid metabolism. You have grown adult metabolism.
The above story is sad, because it’s true. Just reading it brings on a mild panic attack. YOU NEED A CHEAT SHEET!
Mama O’Neill to the rescue… here are my TOP 10 SNACKS FOR KIDS SPORTS (and the parents on the sidelines)
Most little ones (ages 3 – 7) haven’t hit an age where they are playing super active sports, so they do not need to carb-load before, during or after games. Mostly, they need a snack between school and practice/games… something with natural sugar and high-water content, to avoid dehydration. Seasonal fruit & veggies can be a GREAT snack for these little ones:
- Banana w/ OJ – The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so a banana before a sports game will help keep nutrient levels high. However, bananas resist digestion and the not-so-good-starch is left over in bellies. To help the banana digest fully, and add an extra punch of natural sugar, drink a cup of Orange Juice when eating the banana!
- Kiwi Fruit & Strawberries – Both high in fiber, natural sugar and Vitamin C. Kiwi’s also boast a high level of potassium, just like bananas, but are easier to digest.
- Carrots & Cucumbers – A nutrient rich snack thats great for a quick boost of energy and hydration. Cucumbers are an inflammatory too, so they keep those little joints nice and cool. Carrots give little eyes a boost with a healthy dose of beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A when digested!
- Fresh Apricots – In addition to containing good amounts of Vitamin A, C and Potassium, apricots are broken down easily, and the important nutrients are quickly absorbed by the body.
- Orange Slices – Another healthy and delicious fruit packed full of Vitamin C, natural sugar and hydrating juices, oranges also have compounds that have been proven to decrease risks of diabetes, cancer and heart disease!
As kids grow, and play harder and longer, they need more protein in their diet to sustain their energy. Add a scoop of hummus, almond butter, or organic cheese to the list above for a super healthy snack, with a little more sustainability.
Now, what about the snacks you can buy at your local grocer or big box store? I keep a stockpile of pre-packages snacks in the car, just in case!
6. Granola bars – YOU NEED TO READ LABELS… look for sodium and sugar content. Rule of thumb: less than 150mg Sodium/Salt and less than 20g Sugar! It’s hard to find a good granola bar that is high in protein and made with healthy ingredients – AND – are also nut-free and “school safe”. 88 Acres is my new fave!
7. Figgy Pops – If you don’t have to worry about nut allergies, this is the snack for you. ORGANIC. LOW SUGAR & LOW SODIUM. Try all 4 of their most popular flavors for $24 on Amazon, or buy them in bulk @ Costco.
8. Organic Fuel – These break my guidelines of sodium and sugar, BUT, its organic un-refined sugar, and natural sodium – plus they add Vitamin D3 for an extra energy boost. Try the chocolate! I wouldn’t drink these on the daily, but once in a while won’t hurt. *Parents, avoid this one ;(
9. Hippeas – Gluten free? Dairy free? Nut free? Soy free? No problem, these delicious vegan puffs are made from the nutrient rich organic chickpeas. They come in 4 delicious flavors, but their White Cheddar is the best. As far as pre-packaged snacks go, these are an easy winner! *GREAT for parents!
10. Snack Mates – Healthy jerky? YUP! Free-range, organic, grass-fed, etc. Check out Snack Mates for Kids and enjoy a protein rich snack on the go! *Slightly high on the sodium side so please make sure kids are hydrated too!
Now that you’ve got your super savvy Sideline Snack cheat sheet… GAME ON!
Love & yum,
Lindsay “Mama” O’Neill