This year both my daughters decided to play soccer. I was pretty excited to see my girls interested in team sports, up until this year they were only interested in solo sports like swimming. With the pandemic rules, I am so happy that we didn’t have to worry about team snacks. According some of my other dietitian colleagues, team sport snacks are a contentious topic amongst dietitian moms. As a dietitian and a mom, I know watching my kids being rewarded with sugar filled snacks would not sit well with me. While I do believe its important to fuel kids bodies with healthy sports snack, I do believe we need to be careful about the message we are sending to our children. Let’s take a peak at dietitian and kid approved healthy sports snacks.
With this years pandemic restrictions parents were relieved of their snacking duties, hopefully this trend will become a permanenet one, after all we are all busy. Personally, I am voting to let families take care of their own snacks. While, I am not against giving my girls a snack after a game or practice, I want to make sure we are sending them the right message. Rewarding kids with unhealthy snacks after physical activity is sending them wrong message. The purpose of after game snacks is to provide energy, re fuel and rehydrate.
Healthy Sport Snacks:
I often see young children drinking sports beverages. These beverages are intended for high endurance athletes who are performing at least 1 hour of intense exercise. Sports drinks contain lots of sugar and electrolytes to replenish their losses during intense exercise. Most young athletes are not performing intense exercise and water is the best choice for hydration.
When it comes to sports snacks a few things need to be considered like the timing of the practice or game, duration and what’s being served. For young athletes like my girls most practices are either before dinner or right after. A snack right before dinner may fill them up and they may eat very little at the dinner table. If this is once a week its not going to hurt them but when your child is in multiple sports multiple times a week can have an impact on their relation with food and overall health.
Healthy Snack ideas:
Fresh fruit: oranges, apples, bananas, and/ or watermelon slices.
Carrots sticks with dip.
Homemade granola bars, or healthy granola bars(Madegood, Kashi,).
Trail mix or nuts.
Rice cakes with nut butter and banana.
Homemade muffins or energy balls.