Chances are at the beginning of the season, your child’s coach passed around a signup sheet to all the sports parents, designating which parent would be responsible for providing a snack at what game. If your turn is coming up soon and you’re not sure what to bring, here is a list of 10 great snack idea for your youth athlete at half-time:
- Orange slices
- Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, etc)
- Apple wedges
- Carrot sticks
Aside from the carrot sticks, you probably noticed that the list is pretty much focused on fruit. Not only is fruit “kid friendly,” (how many kids do you know that just love protein bars…how many adults for that matter?) they are packed full of water and important nutrients to keep your youth athlete performing their best during the game.
Why is fruit such a good choice for half-time snacks?
Juice drinks are usually so full of sweeteners that they can be just as unhealthy as soda. Meanwhile, packaged “fruit” snacks are usually made of refined sweeteners (such as corn syrup or concentrated apple juice) and vitamin C powder. Real fruit is by far the better choice!
Many sports parents turn to granola bars as the go-to half-time snack, but most of the cereal and granola bars that your youth athletes are going to like have very little fiber or protein. What they do have is lots of sugar. If you can convince a team of youth soccer players that a protein bar is just as delicious as a candy bar, then more power to you! (You’re pretty much a super sports parent.) But if you want to make sure your players are getting the nutrition they need at half time, you can’t beat the fiber found in fruit.
While peanuts, pretzels and trail mix might seem like a good option, you want to be careful about how much salt your youth athlete is getting during half-time. Salty foods can dehydrate your players if they aren’t careful. Peanut allergies are also becoming more and more common among kids, and you don’t want to risk an allergic reaction for one of your players. Many coaches are banning nuts in general from half-time to protect the kids.
Above all else, make sure your players are getting enough water at half-time! Even fruit is no substitute for a water jug.