Snacks for sports - simple is best

 Outdoor sports will soon be in full swing. Your child's team might organize a snack schedule where parents take turns bringing the half time snack. I always found that annoying. First, who's got the time to prepare snacks for the team? Second, if you want your child to have a snack during or after the game, bring it yourself! Third - is it really necessary? The answer is no. A Registered Dietitian colleague from Huron County Health Unit, Amy MacDonald, explained why snacks for sports aren't necessary and if they are provided, simple is best. Read on for Amy's great advice about snacks for sports.

The snacks provided for kids during recreational sports can be over the top. In the past, water and orange slices or watermelon (with seeds!) were more than enough. Today it’s not uncommon to see meal-sized portions and sugar-laden drinks.

Parents and coaches bringing these foods and drinks are usually just trying to be helpful.  But many kids are just eating or drinking because it’s there. They are often spoiling their appetite for the healthy meal or snack prepared at home. They are learning to expect a treat after exercise – which can be a very hard habit to break later in life.

When kids are playing sports for fun they don’t need sports drinks, juice boxes, or other sweetened drinks and sweet or salty snacks. Just make sure water is always available. For teams that want to do snacks, some ideas include: orange or melon slices, grapes or strawberries, bananas or apples, carrot or pepper sticks. Fresh vegetables or fruit are a great way to go!

If you think kids will laugh you out of the ball park for bringing vegetables and fruit for a snack, think again. For my son's school baseball tournament, I brought a container of peppers, carrots and cucumbers to eat after one game and a container of grapes and oranges to have after the second game. I brought home two empty containers.

My son wanted something a little more exciting than plain vegetables and fruit for his school soccer tournament so I made watermelon popsicles. They were simple to make and again, all of them were eaten.
To make watermelon popsicles, all you need is a watermelon and some popsicle sticks or wooden craft sticks.

Wash the watermelon then peel it. Cut it into rectangular pieces (or any shape you want!) Insert a popsicle stick in the middle of each piece. Lay the pieces on a wax paper lined tray and put the tray in the freezer.

When the popsicles are frozen you can remove them from the tray and put them in a container. I'm not sure how long it takes for the popsicles to freeze. I've always made them at night and all I know is they're frozen by morning. Keep the container in the freezer. If you're going to bring them to a game, keep them in the freezer until you're ready to go. Pack them in a thermal container with ice packs. They stay firm for quite a while.

Voila! Enjoy watermelon popsicles.

 Michele, RD


  1. Okay - this is a honestly a fabulous idea! Healthy, simple and delicious! And the presentation in the flower pots - LOVE IT!!!


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