Leaves are falling. Soccer balls are flying. Naturally, my thoughts turn to healthy team snacks.
Since I first voiced my frustration over junky soccer snacks a few years ago (read Soccer Mom Soapbox), I’ve advocated for fruit-and-water team snacks. I’ve also made the case for simply eliminating the team snack altogether (read The End of Soccer Snacks?). Young children playing an hour or less of soccer aren’t typically exerting themselves to a degree that warrants much of a snack, much less a sports drink (or a large frosted cupcake). Most of them are better off going home for a healthy lunch or dinner.
But some coaches and parents like gathering for a post-game team snack. In that case, fruit is a perfect solution. It’s refreshing, easy, and usually safe for children with food allergies. And many children don’t get enough fruit anyway. So if you’d like to bring fruit (or even veggies) to games and are looking for ideas, I’ve got some!
It’s true that junky snacks seem easy: Just pop into the store and grab a pack of snack-size cookies, a few boxes of gummy fruit snacks, or a couple dozen donuts or cupcakes. But fruit and veggie team snacks can be just as simple (and fun).
Here are 20 ideas to get you started:
- Bananas (budget friendly!)
- Clementines (easy for little hands to peel)
- Peaches or nectarines
- Orange slices (tried and true)
- Watermelon cut into wedges or sticks (here’s how)
- Fruit kebabs with grapes, melon, and strawberries
- Mango “hedgehogs”
Fruits & Veggies To Go:
- Paper cups of berries
- Individual bags of baby carrots (look for these in the store by the regular carrots)
- Baggies of sliced peppers and celery sticks
- Snack-size baggies of melon
- Small paper bags of grapes
- Paper cup or baggie of cherries
- Small boxes of raisins
- Prepackaged blueberries
- Cups of sugar snap peas (nice and sweet!)
- Cups of pineapple chunks
If you’d like help organizing healthier snacks for your child’s team, consider using the resources in my Sports Snacktivism Handbook. It includes sample coach and team emails, an FAQ, this snack list, and a slideshow.