Disclaimer: I received product from Clif Bar for my son’s baseball snack contribution. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.
Our local baseball league, like many others, requires parents to take turns bringing after-game snack for the whole team.
I’ve always tried to hand out a snack I would be happy giving to my own kids after a couple hours of running around, working hard and having fun. I believe in fun treats, but healthy snacks for athletic kids are important for nourishing bodies and building their knowledge of how to take care of themselves.
For my eldest’s tee-ball years, snack was simple to fill little bellies.
I would pair small apples (Trader Joe’s often has organic ones, or get a big bag from your local supermarket) with a string cheese. Pairing carbohydrates with protein is a balanced way to provide energy and protein that will build muscle and help kids grow strong. I usually paired it was a pouch beverage to entice them to re-hydrate quickly after a game.
Good old string cheese and apples – it’s a constant in our house. It’s kid friendly, easy to pack and easy to eat.
But this year, my giant 7-year-old is in coach pitch, and the snacks have grown to a pile of treats, a bag full of goodies for a car ride home. Ours usually turns into lunch treats for the week because it’s always the same- packages of cheese-flavored crackers, cookies, a sugary sports drink and candy.
Yes, there is pressure and competition when you see what other parents bring. Don’t let it keep you from healthy goals and keeping a good example for your own family!
This year, I got snack at games that started too early for a good dinner and ended just in time for a late one. Knowing bellies were hungry but needed to be filled just enough to keep them from losing it before dinner arrived in the form of pizza or another quick dinner, I planned on small snacks that kids would be sure to enjoy on their way home. Since I didn’t need a big snack, I skipped the apple and string cheese, though for a game that ended mid-afternoon I would have probably started with those first when packing. Old habits die hard.
This kid works hard at playing a game he loves and is constantly improving. I’m so proud of him!
I also love sharing food finds with other parents, as I am constantly on the lookout for new things to try with my own kids. I found a home-run hit with Clif Bar!
Clif Bars has a whole variety of snack bars and treats that fit my need perfectly! They’re kid friendly and are certified organic, like most of the Clif Kids line.
The Clif Bar protein bars has a fourth of a child’s daily goals for protein (using whey protein) and are made with organic ingredients, including organic oats. My son adores the chocolate mint flavor.
Clif also has ZFruit snacks, made with organic pureed fruit and a good size to be demolished before they make dirty hands sticky as well. And those Fruit and Veggie bars would be great as well for little ones with their punch of fruit and vegetables and 11 grams of whole grains.
Healthy Snacks for Athletic Kids
When considering your own snack contribution-
What time of day is it at?
Are they going to go straight to dinner? Or is it right after lunch? Use that as a guide to figure out how much filling protein they need after a game.
What’s the weather like?
They may be dehydrated even with their little water bottles after a heated battle in the middle of a 90-degree day. Or they may just need a top off after an early game.
Are there any food allergies?
Make sure your child’s is known and ask other parents or the coach to notify if there is an allergy or diet need that should be addressed. With a gluten free diet helping with autism and other autoimmune conditions, there are a lot of kids that need gluten-free snacks.
Of course, these bars can be part of any snack time – they’re great at recess, in a big lunch, playgrounds, anywhere!
Do your kids play sports in the summer? What are your go-to healthy snacks for athletic kids?