So, you just found out it is your week to bring snacks to your kiddo's soccer game or you need some after-game snack ideas for youth sports. You may be asking yourself: Should I bring something sweet or salty? I know kids like chips, but are there healthier options that the kids will actually like? We’ve got the answers for you. These snacks will take 5 minutes or less to prepare, so you can enjoy the game and snack duty!
Quick & Easy After-Game Snack Ideas: No Recipe Required
When your little league baseball player or soccer star says, "Your turn to bring snacks," stress can automatically be added to your already hectic day. But, there is no need to stress or worry! This snack game plan provides delicious and filling choices for your kiddo and their hungry teammates.
Providing snacks that fuel up, not bog down, gives us a chance to teach kids the proper way to get energy for sports. So, instead of reaching for candy, chips or heading to the donut shop, stop to consider the reasons for snacking and try these suggestions.
Snacks serve several purposes for active kids, including:
- Providing energy (calories) to help working muscles power through activity
- Supplying fluids for hydration and to keep the body cool
- Providing nutrients for growth and development
- Promoting recovery after hard exercise
In addition, snacks should be easily digested so blood flows to the muscles during exercise and not to the gut to digest a heavy, greasy snack.
Depending on the time of the game, different snacks meet different needs. Here is a guide to choosing snacks based on game day and time.
Weekend Morning Games
Muscle fuel can be very low after an overnight fast. Therefore, if you are rushing out the door to make it to a morning game, consider serving breakfast foods that kids love:
- A mini cinnamon-raisin bagel with flavored cream cheese
- English muffin sandwich with a slice of turkey and/or cheese
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies homemade smoothies here or here or ready-to-drink in bottles
- Cartons of low-fat milk with baggies full of cereal
- 100% fruit juice boxes
After the Game
Here are 15+ after-game snack ideas that should help to replace muscle fuel lost in exercise and replenish fluids without ruining kids' appetite for the next meal.
- Air-popped popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese
- Ice pops
- Drinkable yogurt
- Apple sauce pouches
- String cheese
- Trail mix packets or homemade
- Horizon chocolate milk
- Banana, orange slices, or apple slices (squeeze fresh lemon on them to add a little tartness and to prevent browning)
- Whole-grain granola bars
- Mini-muffins and milk
- Nutella & breadsticks / half banana
- Cereal bar and milk
- Cereal bar and banana
Snacks are an important part of every child’s life. Every meal and snack is an opportunity to teach kids what a healthy serving looks like.
Many kids have early lunch periods during school, so they might start the game hungry. A good after-school snack provides quality carbohydrates and protein for quick energy and a satisfied tummy. Consider packing your cooler with these nourishing options:
- 6-ounce cartons of a variety of fruited yogurt or yogurt in a tube. If you freeze the yogurt tubes, you don’t need to pack them in ice.
- Peanut butter or almond butter sandwiches with natural fruit jam on whole-grain bread
- Turkey and/or cheese wraps cut into 1-inch slices for easy finger food
- Low-fat string cheese and mini pretzels
- Bottles of cold water or large coolers of cold water with lemon (cold water helps lower body temperature in active athletes)
Follow these food safety tips to make sure you serve safe and healthy food:
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove