(By Guest contributors Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty (@fitmomdiet)
For kids snack is often the best part of playing sports. While it’s tempting to pass out sugar-laden treats and drinks, it’s important to remember the value of teaching children how to eat for optimal performance. The better we eat, the better we play. Starting good habits when children are young makes lasting impressions.
We’ve put together a list of healthy and tasty sports snack ideas that require minimal preparation for the next time you are on snack-duty. If you are great in the kitchen you can always cook something up, but we typically shy away from this for the same reasons people don’t bring homemade snacks to school classrooms anymore. If people don’t know you very well they might be a little apprehensive about what you are handing out.
Here are 5 healthy snacks to fuel your kids with energy that won’t leave them crashing moments later.
Celery and Peanut Butter
Pre-cut celery before the game and place individual Ziploc bags. Many companies make single serving peanut butter packets that kids can use as a dip. Peanut butter provides healthy fat and protein, making this snack something that will keep them fuller longer. BUY HERE
Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar
We’re big fans of these bars. They won’t melt in the heat. They contain two squares so you can save one for later and they come in a variety of flavors. Natures Bakery also now has a gluten free line for kids who have food allergies and sensitivities. BUY HERE
Use a variety of nuts and seeds including cashews, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin. Coconut flakes also make a good addition to homemade trail mix. Sweeten the deal by adding dark chocolate chips. Kids are more likely to eat these in moderation when paired with a healthy nut mix. For children who have nut allergies, you can omit the nuts and seeds and use low-sugar dried fruit and crushed brown rice cakes. BUY HERE
Popcorn can be a great choice when it’s not drenched in butter. Purchase an air pop popcorn maker and make your own. This can be a fun activity for kids to get involved in as well. They can help make the popcorn then bag it with you for each player. Sprinkle cinnamon on top for a little flavor.
There are a number of yogurts on the shelves today that contain less sugar and have live cultures, making them a healthy probiotic. On cooler days you can freeze the yogurt tubes and by the time the game is over they should be just right. Try our favorite Yogurt Tubes.
Picking healthy snack choices as a team parent is important. Kids learn what they are repeatedly introduced to, so even if at first they resist to not getting their dose of Oreo cookies, they’ll eventually adapt. Plus, you might encourage other parents to get on board and kids will learn to appreciate treats as something that’s occasional, not something that fuels their energy and performance on a daily basis. Love your kids, feed them well!
About the Authors
Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty represent the Fit Mom Diet Team. They are both health and wellness experts, nationally published writers, clean eating chefs, moms, fitness models television personalities and advocates for empowering women to live active and healthy lifestyles. Their articles, recipes and images can be seen online and in print publications around the country. The Fit Mom Diet community seeks to bring people together and offer helpful resources, support and encouragement to help mom’s live healthy, active, mindful and inspired lives.
You can get a FREE copy of their Fit Kid’s Cookbook by emailing FitMomDiet@gmail.com