Getting in the car, getting out of the car, zooming from practice to practice, dropping off at this activity, or going to that game…it is unending and oh-so tiring. It doesn’t matter if your kid is 4 years old or 14 years old…they need some snacks with all this running around! By the way, you need some snacks too! Does anyone else get a little hangry during the hustle and bustle? What is the best way to fuel you and your team? We see you with your orange slices, mom. But let’s explore some other options.
Real Mom Nutrition says, “Keep in mind that kids don’t automatically need a snack after sports. For some, hydrating with water and then eating the next meal is fine. But if dinner is hours away and they need some fuel–especially teen athletes who need more calories–here’s a good formula for post-sports snacks: Carbohydrates to replenish what’s been used during the game. Protein to repair and rebuild muscles that have been exerted and torn.” Want some protein and carbohydrate combo examples? Here is Real Mom Nutrition’s article, “21 Nutritious Sports Snacks For Kids,” which includes several recipes.
There is a really informative article called “8 Gameday Nutrition Tips for Young Athletes” that gives some helpful ideas about how to best support our athletes. This covers the protein and carbohydrate formula as well as exploring the use of fats and how to hydrate.
We also know that there are all sorts of snack packs that can be excellent options for team treats, nonperishable choices, or something on the go. However, we are going to try to focus on less processed options. Real food is always the better choice.
· Fruits (Apples, pears, oranges, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, marionberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, or whatever you and your kiddos like).
· Veggies (Carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes [we know, we know, they are a fruit], avocado, etc.).
· Cheese (Tillamook is one of our famous cheeses. Look at the lineup of cheeses here).
· Granola Bars/Power Bars (Bob’s Red Mill makes some really yummy options. Check them out here).
· Yogurt (Nancy’s Yogurt is a great local yogurt. Found out more here).
· Hard Boiled Eggs
· Trail Mix
· Dried Fruit
· Fruit Leather
· Jerky (Have a hankering for some local jerky? Check out Old Trapper)
· Applesauce/Fruit Sauces
· Energy Balls (Here are some recipes for energy balls from Eating Well).
· Smoothies (Our favorite is frozen bananas, milk (any kind of milk), protein powder, and unsweetened cocoa powder, or go here to see some easy kid’s smoothie recipes).
· Avocado Toast
· PB&Js (Or use other nut butters. Wild Friends Foods is a great local brand).
· Fruits with yogurt or peanut butter
· Veggies with peanut butter or cheese
· Meat and Cheese Wraps
· Wraps (Wraps are a great option for hungry athletes. Here are a lot of recipes to get you started).
It is important for the kids (and you) to be ready for whatever the day may bring. Sometimes there are back-to-back games or activities, and there is no time to stop for any food, or the only option is fast food. Very Well Family has a great article about fueling your kids for sports: pre-game snacks, half-time snacks, and post-game snacks). Check it out here.
Lastly, besides having food as fuel for the family, it is also essential to keep everyone hydrated. Having a water bottle for each family member is best, so you are always ready to fill it up. This helps the desire to grab a plastic water bottle. In addition, on those busy days, it doesn’t hurt to have some other beverages on hand. For example, bubble water, juices, sports drinks, or more can be good choices to add to the list to make sure you all can quench your thirst.
Sports and other activities are great for socializing, building life skills, and learning how to be on a team with others. It can be hard to remember all the great things that these sports, activities, and events bring to the mix for our kids when we are driving back and forth (and back and forth). But hopefully, making sure that we are all fueled and hydrated correctly will make this a little easier on all of us.
Johanna is married with two kids, three dogs, three cats, one leopard gecko, several chickens, and a few fish. She has been in the Pacific Northwest since the dream was alive in the 90s but has Southern roots and hails from Arkansas. The family spends a lot of time at some sort of sporting event for the kids. Johanna likes to fast craft, garden, host parties, and bake. Johanna and her crew go hard traveling, DIY-ing, and are always up for a new adventure or challenge.