HEALTHY SNACKS FOR A WEEKEND OF SPORTING EVENTS
Happy Spring! Although spring is being fickle here in New Hampshire, this weekend marks the start of baseball for my youngest son. Double headers on both weekend days! LOVE IT!
Many of us find ourselves attending multiple games in a day with little time for regular meals. Properly fueling our young athletes (and ourselves) is essential for optimum performance on the field.
Tournaments and multiple game events have become common-place in youth sports, often with very little time between events for a proper meal. Providing easily digestible snacks is key to helping your athlete maintain their focus, energy and endurance until the final whistle is blown. Dust off your cooler (with wheels) and let’s figure out what to pack to keep everyone happy and full!
SNACK IDEAS FOR A DAY ON THE FIELDS
Tried and true foods are the best way to go. Sticking to a combination of familiar, easily digestible carbohydrates and proteins will help to avoid cramps and upset stomachs. Often kids do not want (or have time) for an actual meal and providing healthy balanced snacks will help them power thru the day
Water should be the liquid of choice. Sports drinks are loaded in sugar and artificial colors. If it is very hot, try diluting a sports drink with water.
Often kids don’t want a whole piece of fruit but will grab a few bites of cut up watermelon, cantaloupe and berries. Frozen grapes are cool, refreshing and great hydrators.
OTHER QUICK AND EASY SNACK IDEAS
String cheese/cheese cubes and whole grain crackers
A slice of turkey wrapped around a cheese stick is a great source of protein
Home made trail mix: Whole grain cereal, mini pretzels, nuts, raisins and mini chocolate chips.
Cut up veggies with individual humus packs – sugar snap peas are my son’s favorite
Squeeze applesauce packets (check ingredients for added sugar)
Peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes (rice cakes are less likely to get “squished” at the bottom of a cooler)
Mini whole-wheat bagels with cream cheese
Individual peanut/almond butter packets – less messy and easy to squeeze on fruit or crackers
Individual yogurt or cottage cheese. Serve with a snack bag of animal crackers or pretzels for added carbohydrates
Fig/fruit Newtons provide long-lasting carbohydrates and most kids love them
Granola bars. Check the label and opt for varieties that have less than 6 grams of sugar. KIND and LUNA bars are 2 kid-approved bars that are not loaded with sugar. Excess sugar can lead to cramping and excessive thirst
Chocolate Milk: Provides both carbohydrates and protein and is an easily digested way to quickly re-fuel
Toss a bag of baby frozen peas into your cooler. Believe it or not, many kids like to snack on these and it also will serve as an icepack for unexpected bumps and bruises
Many children/teens opt to not eat between games. It is essential for them to replace some of the calories burned during the game and maintain a steady blood sugar for the games to come.
A snack is only useful if it is eaten. Talk with your kids and carve out some snack ideas together.
HEALTHY SNACKS CAN BE A GAME CHANGER