What to Take for Team Snack Day

Little league season is rife with weekly practices and games as well as the age-old tradition of bringing snack. Consider these tips for a happier and healthier team snack.

What to Take for Team Snack | Life as MOM

Over the years the FishFam has dabbled in a few sports. We’ve done t-ball, soccer, and now a few of the boys are trying their hand at hockey. There are many similarities among the sports including the inevitable seven-year old chasing butterflies in the outfield, backfield, or corners of the rink.

The other overriding characteristic is the importance of team snack. Only one of our teams this season does snack. It is a huge deal to the FishBoy in question.

So much so, that when asked what he was thinking about while chasing butterflies during the game he said he was wondering what the snack would be.

While I am trying to improve our family’s overall eating habits, I have not yet taken to imposing that on folks outside our family circle. As one of the older brothers stated, “You could take carrots to FishBoy’s snack and then all the kids on his team would hate him.”

Great. Just what I need, a child scarred for life over team snack.

What to Take for Team Snack | Life as MOM

However, there are some fairly happy compromises that you can consider when providing team snacks. Here are some things I like to keep in mind:

Prepackaged is best.

While I want home food to be minimally processed, realistically, prepackaged is easier and more appropriate in some circumstances.

I shy away from homemade items on snack day because I want the other parents to feel comfortable and not wonder what my kitchen is like. That’s what would make me feel most comfortable as well. Plus, having pre-packaged convenience items makes it easy to pass out snack as well as store leftover items for another time. We save the leftovers for a fun treat for when we fill the fanny packs  for Disneyland.

Be conscious of food allergies.

While many moms of kids with allergies bring alternatives, it’s nice for you to be conscientious of the kiddo who might feel left out. The list below offers a range of items that can be mixed and matched to accomodate dairy, gluten, or nut-allergies. Be sure to read labels carefully and to consult the child’s parents if you need help or have questions.

Consider younger siblings.

While you are in no way obligated to feed the families of the players, if it’s in your budget to bring extras for younger siblings, that is always a nice gesture. The mom or dad who’s been trying to keep the baby or toddler happy during the last hour will be so grateful that you have something to share with their little one.

Enough is as good as a feast.

My little guy takes his cues from the snack Coach D brought the first week of the season. I indulged him when our first snack day came, but it was easy to see that he could go crazy if I let him choose all his “favorites”. Remember that a drink and one snack should usually suffice.

What to Take for Team Snack | Life as MOM

Healthier Options for Team Snack

Chilled beverages

  • Bottle water
  • Juice boxes or pouches
  • Dye-free sports drinks – while these still have processed sweeteners, they are a welcome alternative to drinks loaded with artificial coloring

Snacks

  • Yogurt tubes – there are a number of brands that are free of dyes as well as high fructose corn syrup. If you freeze them the night before they are kind of like a popsicle which is very cool (pun intended) for hot days.
  • Applesauce in the pouches – no need for a spoon and the GoGoSqueeZ brand is unsweetened
  • Cheese sticks, individually wrapped
  • Individual bags of Pirate’s Booty, crackers, and granola bars
  • Individually packaged fruit snacks, fruit leathers, dried fruit, apple slices, apple chips
  • Individually packaged baby carrots (yes, really)

Team Snack is part of the child’s team experience. For my guy, they are a big part. While you don’t want to get your kids all hyped up on sugar, neither do you want to poo-poo this fun aspect of being in little league.

You can find a happy — and healthier — balance in there.

What’s been your experience with team snacks?

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Comments

  1. Great timing on your post since I am up for snack duty twice in the next two weeks! Thank you for a very well compiled list!

  2. Great post! As a mom of an allergy kid (no milk, corn, or dyes), I appreciate your comment on being allergy conscious. I always have extra “safe” snacks, but I really appreciate it when my kiddo can have what the other kids are having. I also shop discount stores like Big Lots for prepackaged food – I’ve found great deals on damaged boxes, but the bagged snacks inside are fine and often name brand.

  3. It will be our turn to bring snacks for t-ball in the next couple of weeks too. Thanks for the suggestions. I love the string cheese idea. My kids love those and it is a much healthier option than say oreos.

  4. One family brought prepackaged sliced apples to our kindergarten soccer game.

  5. I saw one mom brought bananas!! I bring bottled water or lemonade, still processed, but better and crackers.

  6. I love the frozen yogurt idea – but what brands are free of dyes (and what stores do you find them at)? I haven’t even looked at those in a long time because I thought they were all full of HFCS and dye :)

    • I often buy ours from Trader Joe’s because they are also organic. But if you don’t have one of those around, the GoGurt brand has a version called “Simply GoGurt” that has a much cleaner ingredient list than their regular ones.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      What Laura said. ;)

  7. i have done air popped popcorn plain in brown paper lunch bags and that has been popular for the kids…

  8. Bananas, Cuties, grapes, and whole apples are my favorite easy snacks to bring.

  9. My son plays sports and last Sunday the mom brought the lunch box sized apples. My son loved these!

  10. Have you seen the Everybody Loves Raymond episode about “approved snacks”? That was my first thought when I read this :) (Check out clips on YouTube if you want to and have a minute :) )

    Thanks for the tips! I guess this would be a good place to use coupons, too, if a good deal came along.

  11. Best timing ever – I’m up for the very first time – TONIGHT! ;-) We have been told there is a girl with diabetes on the team, so to go “low sugar”. I was thinking about all kinds of healthy home-made ideas, but your point about people wondering about (my) kitchen didn’t even occur to me. One of my ideas had been cut up cheese and triscuits, plus some fruit/fruit leathers, but, doh! cheese strings are totally the way to go. I’m off to Costco in just a minute!! Thanks for this post :)

  12. So far, Girl Scout meeting snacks have included cheese sticks and apple slices; animal crackers.

  13. I love the idea of yogurt tubes, raisins and cheese sticks. I’m always trying to come up with healthier ideas for soccer games. I always cringe when the parents whip out the cookies and other overly-processed foods, but I figure we don’t really eat them at home, so once in awhile is ok. Everything in moderation, right. Cuties and bananas (they really love those mini-bananas that some stores carry) are a big hit with my daughters team. I’ve also done little baggies of grapes too depending on the season.

  14. My kids love to bring watermelon slices for soccer snacks. That’s always a big messy hit!

  15. Great list! The fruit ideas are my favorites. And do keep in mind that granola bars are not nut free. While many do not contain nuts, they are often processed with peanuts, so they’re completely off limits for someone with a peanut allergy.

  16. My husband is coaching our 6 year old’s soccer team this spring season. We asked the parents to bring “healthy” snacks this year. So far, the response has been pretty good. Thank you for reinforcing your shared ideas on this. And also making us feel less alone as mom’s trying to raise healthy children on healthy foods on a sometimes not-so-healthy financial budget. :-)

  17. Great post and so timely! I always sign up for snacks for one of the first games so I can “set the standard” hopefully of bringing healthier snacks. I’ll also often offer to be the parent in charge of getting the others to sign up – that way when I send out the email I can list any food allergies, suggestions, etc.
    Like you, I prefer homemade items, but this is one time we do pre-packaged also – kids size granola bars go over well (Cliff or some other brand without HFCS, etc.), fruit (those applesauce in a pouch and cuties have been most requested this year), dried fruit leather – I can typically find a brand without added sugars, and the little bottles of water – hate that it’s not reusable, but it’s a lot healthier than Capri Sun!

  18. This is perfect timing as we are assigned snack in 2 weeks for our 5 y/o’s soccer team. We are trying to avoid processed foods. Our school district requires all classroom snacks to be unopened, packaged foods – so little creativity. Soccer doesn’t have the same rule but like you mentioned, I don’t want the other moms worrying about food safety. My daugher would probably cheer if I could figure out how to bring individual packages of the freeze dried corn or the freeze dried yogurt bites I sell as those are two of her favorite snacks – but I only have large containers that would have to be separated out into ziploc bags which is back to food safety questions by other families. So I think I’m going to use your idea for the frozen yogurt tubes. My girls begged and begged for them, and whenever I offer them for snacktime, they aren’t interested. So sounds like a perfect way to use them up!

  19. We usually take apples, bananas, or fruit leather. I like to pick up boxes of organic fruit leather at Target (Archer Farms brand) when it’s on sale for +/- $2.49 for a box of 10. Only once was it a problem when one of my son’s teammates had new braces and couldn’t eat sticky foods. A friend’s pediatrician challenged her to be the mom that set the trend of bringing healthy snacks vs bags of cheetos and doritos. Thanks for the other ideas; my favorites were raisins, string cheese, and squeeze yogurts.

  20. We sometimes have evening games. I order pizza and have paper plates, napkins and juice boxes. Parents appreciate having non-candy snacks, kids’ dinner covered and can head straight home for bed!

  21. I love goldfish crackers and presliced, prepackaged apples.

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