20 Healthy Team Snacks for Kids

20 Fruit & Veggie Team Snacks

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:

Whole Fruit:

  • Bananas (budget friendly!)
  • Apples
  • Clementines (easy for little hands to peel)
  • Pears
  • Peaches or nectarines
  • Plums

Cut Fruit:

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.

20 Fruit & Veggie Team Snacks by Real Mom Nutrition

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Comments

  1. Teri says

    I definitely vote for the sliced oranges. When my kids played, I would make a big bowl of orange slices and grapes. Chill in refrigerator overnite. The kids loved them! Here the kids need something cool and hydrating for most games. And the fruit provided that.

    • says

      Teri–Yes, orange slices are certainly the classic–and for good reason. Lots of hydration, some sweetness and carbs, really refreshing after a game! I’m glad your healthy snack has gone over so well.

  2. Diane says

    One of my favorite “snacks” is homemade snowcones. You get a cooler full of crushed ice (really great if you have access to an ice machine) and pour over it a couple of packets of unsweetened kool-aid, gatorade, or some other flavoring and stir it all up. (If you don’t want the processed and artificial color add a small amount of fruit juice/puree) scoop out small cups of this. It is cooling, hydrating, and fun. Just what is needed after running a couple of hours in the hot sun!

  3. Marni says

    I love these ideas! I have to say, though, it is an uphill battle. I am a nutritionist and have kids, so obviously this is a topic near and dear to my heart and values. When it was my turn to bring snack to my son’s baseball game this summer, I brought gorgeous wedges of watermelon. Two kids took it, the rest walked over to the other team to try to sneak in on their snack (bear paws and juice). One mother even gave me a weird look, and told her son “don’t worry, I have goldfish for you.” Soooo frustrating.

    • says

      Marni–it certainly can feel like an uphill battle, especially when there are team parents who aren’t supportive. I’m sorry your watermelon was dissed in favor of the bear paws. That happened to me once with apples. All the kids took them until they saw a dad was giving out chips, then they dropped them an ran for the chips! That’s why I advocate for fruit only, then the kids don’t have to make the choice between the two. Because who can blame a kid for wanting a cookie or a bag of chips? I do believe, though, and have witnessed it myself many times, that most kids appreciate fruit, especially after a tiring or hot game. It’s just hard to compete against junk food! 🙂

  4. Marian says

    About the oranges: make sure you follow up with a wet wipe for everyone to clean any juice in hands. The juice of lemons, oranges, mandarines etc. can cause a , Phytophotodermatitis which is a chemical reaction in the skin caused by the contact with citrus fruits and exposure to the sun. The severity can go from unexplained brown spots, to swelling of the skin to blisters, burn like wounds.
    My son had this one time, caused by citing lemons from a tree and then rubbing his hand in his face and arm. About 2-3 days later hedeveloped markings in the skin of his own hands, so it was mild but it looked. like bruising in the shape of his little hands. They gradually went away in about 2-3 weeks, but they could have easily been blisters if he had cut the lemons and eat them under the sun.

Trackbacks

  1. […] 20 Healthy Team Snacks for Kids – Real Mom Nutrition — Real … – 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 […] […]

  2. […] When it’s your turn to supply team snacks, bring bananas, apples, or slices of watermelon. Though fruit seems like a natural choice after sports (it’s refreshing and full of fluid and carbohydrates) parents are often pleasantly surprised when someone brings it. Sports drinks, chips, and cookies have become the defacto snacks for kids’ sports, but remember the orange slices from your childhood games? Revive the tradition! If you bring fruit and it goes over well, other parents may be inspired to do the same. For ideas, get my list of 20 Healthy Team Snacks. […]

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