More than two years ago, I finally gave voice to my feelings about soccer snacks–specifically, irritation that my kid was getting cookies and donuts and fruit punch and cupcakes after trotting around on a field for 20 minutes (read: “Soccer Mom Soapbox“). I vowed to speak up and change things. And since then, I’ve helped institute fruit-and-water policies on my children’s teams. I’ve also developed a Sports Snacktivism Handbook that includes sample emails to coaches and parents, an FAQ, and my “Soccer Mom on a Mission” slideshow. And I’ve heard from many of you who took the suggestion to your own teams and made it happen.
So many of us remember fruit from our own soccer days, usually orange slices on the sidelines. Fruit is also easy and can be cheap (a few bunches of bananas cost less than $5). And most kids don’t get the recommended number of servings anyway.
But not everyone agrees. I’ve always maintained that if there’s dissent on the team, doing away with snacks entirely is probably the right way to go (read: “What If Soccer Snacks Just Went Away?“). That way, everyone can decide for themselves what’s best for their child.
An out-of-town friend of mine recently sent me this blurb–it appeared in an email she received from her local rec center about their soccer program:
Games are generally an hour long; a snack really isn’t necessary given this
time frame. Some children have serious food allergies, some foods pose a
medical risk for them, and they will feel left out if they can’t partake.
Not all parents will agree on what is an appropriate snack. Finally, there
are some parents who may find it difficult to provide snacks for their
child’s team, particularly if they have multiple children on different
sports teams. For those reasons, we are asking all teams to forego snacks
during the soccer season.
While I love the sight of kids crunching on apples after a fall soccer game, forgoing snacks makes sense too. For the past year, I’ve been approaching my kids’ coaches with this new request: Could we either do a fruit-and-water-only snack policy–or simply eliminate the team snack entirely? In some cases, we took a vote among team parents.
Me? I don’t mind either way. I’m cool with picking up some bananas, but I’m also cool with having one less thing on my to-do lists. I’ve also found that the kids don’t mind either way. There were weeks when parents simply forgot it was their turn for team snack. Nobody cared and nobody starved.
So I’ve amended my sample coach email to include the option of eliminating the team snack. Please feel free to download or copy the materials in my Sports Snacktivism Handbook to use. And if you use them, please let me know the result!