Never fear! Here are some practical and creative solutions for you to try to make you parent of the year in the eyes of your kids – or at the very least, parent of the week in the eyes of the team.
Healthy snack ideas
It may be tempting to bring treats the kids will love like cookies, chips and soda, BUT you might not get high marks on the nutrition front from the coach or the other kids’ parents. Don’t be known as the “junk food” mom or dad when there are plenty of healthy, delicious snacks the team can enjoy. The idea is to keep them energized during the day, not give them sugary treats that will cause them to crash later on. These healthy options will keep little athletes going strong!
- orange slices
- apple slices
- disposable cups filled with berries
- mini boxes of raisins
- small bags of carrot sticks
- fruit kebabs on wooden skewers
- watermelon slices
- cucumber slices
- sunflower seeds
- celery sticks with cream cheese
- squeeze-pouch applesauce
- pumpkin seeds
- string cheese
If you want a little variety to your treats, consider creating little sandwich baggy packs or plastic containers with a little bit of everything. Mix berries, grapes, apple slices, cucumber slices and carrot sticks in individual baggies or containers – one for each child. With individual servings, the kids can eat as much as they want and then come back for more later. (Just make sure to bring along a permanent marker to write their names.)
Of course, if you bring fresh fruit or veggie snacks, you’ll want to keep them cool for the long haul, so we recommend packing them up in a roomy insulated cooler that can hold ice. The Fresh Market® Thermaland our Tote-ally Thermal are perfect options due to their larger size and Leak-Lock® water-resistant thermal lining that allows for loose ice.
- water-resistant Leak-Lock® lining allows for ice
- exterior flat pocket holds utensils, etc.
- extended straps for easy transport
- zip closure
Team tip: Personalize your favorite family thermal with your child’s sport in his or her team colors. Choose from icons for sports teams, band, hobbies and more in our Personalization Studio. Don’t forget to add your team’s or school’s name for extra spirit!
Creative snack ideas
Now, if you really want to go for the parent-of-the-year award, these fun ideas just might get you there. Your kids and their teammates will love these creative treats that are not only fun to make and look at, but nutritious to eat as well. Click on each treat for directions on how to make them.
- Mango Hedgehogs
- Butterfly Snack Bags
- Fresh Fruit Pops
- Spinach and Turkey Pinwheels
- PB&J Smoothies
- Fruity Peanut Butter Pitas
Healthy drink ideas
Aside from the snacks, make sure your kids teammates have plenty to drink to stay hydrated. Be sure to avoid sugary beverages like soft drinks, fruit punches and sports drinks that are often loaded with sugar and sodium. Here are a few healthy options to consider.
- Bottled water (minis are particularly nice)
- Fruit juice boxes or pouches
- Coconut water or sweet chia water
- Homemade iced tea with lemon
- Homemade lemonade with agave juice instead of sugar
Things to remember
Be conscious of food allergies. Things like nuts, gluten and dairy can keep a kid on the team from getting his or her snack. Check with the coach or other parents to make sure there aren’t any allergies to what you decide to bring.
Consider making extras. Oftentimes, your kids’ teammates will have younger brothers or sisters in attendance who also want to have a snack. Although it’s not your responsibility, it is a nice gesture to make a few extra snacks in case the need arises.
Don’t overdo it. You don’t need to provide the team with a meal. Keep it simple and nutritious without filling them up too much. You don’t want to ruin their lunch or dinner!
There’s nothing wrong with pre-packaged. Some parents may feel a bit uneasy about homemade food and any allergens or germs their kids may encounter. Pre-packaged items like apple slices, carrots, applesauce and nut butters may be the best route. It all depends on how well you know the other parents and your own comfort level. Find out what other parents provide. Pre-packaged doesn’t have to mean unhealthy.
Don’t forget the extras. Be sure to provide napkins, plastic wear, garbage bags and plates as necessary. Sanitary wipes are also a good idea if bathroom facilities are sub-par or far away from the playing field.
What is YOUR kids’ favorite snack? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!