Have you ever had a team snack fail?
You know, like that time when your kid and his teammates played their hearts out in the pouring rain, and you realized five minutes before the end of the game that it was supposed to be YOUR turn to bring snacks?
This actually happened to me last flag football season, and thankfully there was a little concession stand. I ran to the counter, breathlessly asked the lady for 12 bags of chips and 12 sports drinks, paid way too much money, and ran back to the kids just as the last whistle blew!
When it’s my turn for snacks, I try to bring some balance of healthy and tasty. That way, I’m not getting groans from the kids OR glares from the parents.
With winter sports upon us, here are five snack combos I’d bring to make everyone happy:
1. Orange You Glad I Remembered the Snack?
Clementine oranges are ideal for wintertime snacks, because they are actually at their peak of sweetness in the winter. Also, they’re easy for little hands to peel, and they’re packed with immunity-boosting Vitamin C, which we can all use in the winter.
Pair the clementine with cheese-flavored crackers like goldfish, and you’ve even got an orange theme going!
2. I Feel the Need: the Need for CHEESE!
Cheese sticks are a perfect team snack because they’re loaded with protein and calcium, two nutrients known for promoting bone and muscle growth. Cheese sticks come in different varieties too, like Colby Jack, mozzarella, cheddar, cheddar and mozzarella blends and more.
Combine the cheese with something crunchy and sweet (but not too sweet), like graham cracker or animal cracker snacks.
3. What’s Up, Doc?
Baby carrots make great team snacks because they’re sold in individual packs nowadays, but you can also just buy a big pack and portion them into baggies. Carrots are loaded with Vitamin A, which promotes laser sharp vision for your little athlete, and also helps with growth and development.
Balance the sweet carrots with something a little salty, like pretzels.
4. I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Grapes and raisins are super easy to transport, and both are high in fiber and provide a wealth of antioxidants, especially raisins. An added bonus is the variety they both come in, to suit different tastes.
Bring some bags of white cheddar or plain popcorn to offset the sweetness and make the kids happy.
5. Can’t Beat Bananas
Bananas are another easy-to-peel fruit for kids, and there’s a reason you always see them on nutrition tables after foot races like marathons or even 5Ks. They’re loaded with potassium, and since we lose potassium when we sweat, bananas are a natural, easy choice for replenishment (and they help with leg cramps too).
There are lots of other healthy, transportable foods you can pair with your kid’s preferred snack choice, like nut butter pouches (always check first for allergies), yogurt tubes, granola bars, cereal bars, small apples, celery sticks, veggie straws, dried fruit and more.
Since I’m supplying two snacks, I skip the option of bringing a drink. Most kids will have their water bottles anyway.
Of course anything is better than bringing NOTHING when it’s your turn. But to keep everyone happy and healthy, these snacks hit the mark.