snacks

20 Healthy Team Snacks for Kids

by Sally on September 9, 2014

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

Get a free printable version of this list: 20 Healthy Team Snacks from Real Mom Nutrition.

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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5 Grab-n-Go Healthy School Snacks

by Sally on August 22, 2014

5 Grab-n-Go Healthy School SnacksDoes your child take a snack to school? Many do, to eat in their classroom or between school and sports practices. Sure, it’s easy to wash a piece of fruit–and ideally, it’s good to avoid waste with reusable food containers. But boy, it’s awfully nice to have packaged options on hand for mornings so nutty, you’re lucky if the kids are wearing matching shoes.

It may seem like junk food manufacturers have the market cornered on packaged snacks. But “packaged snack” doesn’t have to be synonymous with mini bags of chips, cookies, and gummy fruit snacks. More companies are creating packaged options that make healthy eating a little bit easier for busy people. I like that.

I’ve written before about snacks at school, how there are many different notions of exactly what a “healthy snack” looks like (read Will The Real “Healthy Snack” Please Stand Up?“).  So you may have other ideas for healthy school snacks–if you do, please share in the comments! But in the meantime, here are five that pass muster with me:

Naturipe Fresh Blueberries: Washed and ready to eat, these are sold in kid-sized packages rigid enough that the berries don’t get smashed in a backpack. But they’re also easy for little hands to open. (Available at retailers such as Wal-Mart, Safeway, and Winn-Dixie.)

5 Healthy (Packaged) Snacks For School

Tillamook Cheddar Cheese: String cheese is all well and good, but this is a yummy change of pace. (Find a store nearby that stocks them.)

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

Sabra Hummus With Pretzels: Kids will dig these little pretzel rings for dunking into protein- and fiber-rich hummus. Sabra also makes single-serve hummus cups sans pretzels, plus a grab-n-go salsa and tortilla chip kit.

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

Single Serving Carrots: Ready-to-eat baby carrots are sweet and satisfying. These are a store brand from Kroger–but other brands, like Grimmway, also makes snack-size carrot bags.

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

Justin’s Nut Butter Packets: These packets are the perfect two-tablespoon portion of nut butter. Just rip open the top and squeeze it onto apple slices, crackers or (the preferred method around here) right into your mouth. Save the sweetened ones for occasional treats–and be sure to ask about the nut policy at your school before packing them. (Go here to find a retailer near you that carries them.)

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

What packaged snacks do you send to school?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Naturipe. I received blueberries to try and was compensated for my time. As with everything on this blog, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Changing Camp Snacks For The Better

July 7, 2014

Snacktivism doesn’t stop when the school year ends. While some kids attend just a week or two of camp throughout the summer, others spend many weeks–or even most of the summer–at camp. It shouldn’t be a place where healthy food takes a permanent vacation. Two years ago, I had my own moment of camp Snacktivism, […]

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The Easiest Frozen Treat Ever

July 5, 2014

It’s all about staying cool right now, which means stocking your freezer with some cold, frosty goodies. Frozen grapes are the perfect one-ingredient frozen treat: Rinse, de-stem, place them in a freezer-safe bag, and lay them flat in your freezer. Be sure your kids can easily reach them for self-serve summer snacking. They taste like […]

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All About Snacktivism: My Interview in StayBasic Magazine

February 23, 2014

A few years ago, I got fed up with the Kool-Aid and cupcakes my son was getting after soccer games and vowed to make a change. I began talking to coaches and parents about providing fruit for post-game snacks instead–or even nixing snacks altogether (read: “What If Soccer Snacks Just Went Away?“). One day, a […]

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“Help! My child eats hardly any dinner…then wants a snack 10 minutes later!” Sound familiar?

January 10, 2014

This week, I reached out to readers on my Real Mom Nutrition Facebook page asking for their most frustrating feeding dilemma when it came to their kids–and promised that feeding expert and parent educator Dr. Dina Rose would address one of them on this blog. Dr. Rose, who is full of effective strategies for diffusing […]

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Camp Snacks: The Sequel

June 21, 2013

I practically stood up at my desk and cheered when I read a piece by Caron Gremont yesterday on The Huffington Post about camp snacks. She writes: We send our children to camp and trust that the counselors and lifeguards will keep them safe, from the pool to the buses used for field trips. Shouldn’t […]

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{Giveaway} KIND Bars

April 29, 2013

I was never a big fan of granola and energy bars. To me, they seemed too much like candy bars, and I never felt like I’d eaten anything substantial–even when the bars packed hundreds of calories. But KIND bars are definitely an exception. They’re made with whole nuts and fruit, many are low in sugar, […]

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Change The Snack Culture: 3 Steps to Take Now

April 4, 2013

Two years ago, I had a “light bulb moment” about snacking when I saw a mom and her child on the playground one day (read: “Snacking Insanity“). Since that moment, I’ve become much more aware of the snacks my kids are getting–and what I see isn’t good. It’s a problem, and not just in my […]

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My Pre-Dinner Snack Strategy

April 1, 2013

There’s nothing more maddening at mealtime than sitting down to a dinner you’ve spent 45 minutes to prepare only to have your kids push aside their plates because they’re already full. On pretzels. Navigating the hour before dinner is tough with children–especially young kids, for whom “dinner will be ready in 10 minutes” sounds more […]

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