It's soccer day again and your turn to be the snack mom — the parent who's responsible for bringing the group a snack to help keep the kids revved up and ready to play! But what should you bring? Whether you're supplying munchies for the soccer team or any other sport, here are some great suggestions for snacks to keep their energy going!
Whatever the age of your child, for maximum health and performance, it's vitally important to keep them hydrated during the game. A bottle of H2O is the original sports drink, so be sure to have plenty on hand. While water is a perfect choice to quench thirst and replenish lost fluids, a commercial sports drink takes this a step further by adding needed carbohydrates and electrolytes. For a quick pick-me-up and tummy filler, unsweetened fruit juice, chocolate milk or a flavoured soy beverage are choices that will temporarily boost energy levels.
Some coaches may prefer their little athletes to have something light and refreshing during the game. Fruit definitely fits the bill. While most fruits are juicy, easy to digest and help keep kids feeling light, they are still jam-packed with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an essential food for athletes, as burning carbs equals energy. Keep the team satisfied with these ideas:
- Melon pops: Add one melon ball each of watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe to the end of a wooden skewer. Make plenty, as these will be a hit!
- Fruit salad shots: Use sample-size plastic or paper disposable cups to create "shots" of mixed fruit salad. Add any seasonal fruit you like, but be sure to allow at least three per child.
- Dried fruit by the handful: Make up individual plastic bags of mixed dried fruit. Dehydrated cherries, cranberries, raisins and apricots are all popular choices. Put one large handful in each bag.
- Tropical paradise: Alternate cubed mango and pineapple, sliced bananas and orange segments on wooden skewers. Lightly drizzle with orange juice concentrate sweetened with a touch of honey, and then sprinkle with desiccated coconut. Serve two per child.
- Other fruit choices: whole hulled strawberries, apple slices dipped in lemon water to prevent browning and watermelon wedges.
Since carbs are a necessity to an athlete, consider bringing these items to fuel the team:
- Snack cup-size containers of homemade granola
- Homemade high-energy snacks
- Granola bars from your own kitchen
- Fruit muffins or mini muffins
- Made-from-scratch trail mix
- Banana bread
Your wee athletes need more than just carbs to be healthy and game-ready. Here are some other great ideas:
- Frozen yogurt tubes
- Peanut butter bagel bites: Cut a bagel in half, spread on peanut butter, put it back together and divide into four pieces.
- Whole-grain pretzels and cheese strings or cheese sticks
- Meat-and-cheese spirals: Lay out a whole wheat tortilla wrap and spread a thin layer of savoury cream cheese on the entire surface. Add sliced meat and cheese, then roll up. Slice into one-inch pieces.
- Mini pitas stuffed with hummus