Healthy, Easy Snacks for Team Sports

Several summers ago when my husband coached our oldest son in tee-ball, we decided not to collect money for snack time, nor did we opt to have a sign up for snacks.  Call me crazy, but our kids were signed up to play a sport, not eat a snack.  

I wasn’t trying to be miserly, just wanted to take the focus off the snack.  A couple of times I brought apples for the kids, but soon I though the other parents were going to declare mutiny as they started bringing their own snack and passing them out.  As if their children were so deprived because they didn’t have a snack after they finished playing a game of tee-ball!

I was definitely gunning for mean-mom-of-the-year award that year!

The sports snack is a real pet peeve of mine.  Here we are encouraging our children to get out and get exercise and then we reward them with a junky snack. 

The percentage of kids ages 6-19 who are overweight is 18%, the percentage of adults who are overweight is almost 36%.  The overweight kids are not “growing out of it”.

I know it’s not easy.  I have a junk food junkie and it’s a constant battle.  We all have our moments when we cave into the junk.  The more we can make junk a once in a while thing the better.

Taking care of our bodies and feeding our bodies the food that God created, not a bunch of chemicals that we were not designed to eat, is too important to give up on.

Before you say my kids will never eat that, give it a try.  Most of the time our kids won’t choose the healthy snack because they are always offered so much junk.  Apple or Cheetos?  Unfortunately, most are going to choose the Cheetos.  If they truly are hungry and are only offered the apple, guess what they will eat?

Team Sport Snack Ideas

Here are some easy and healthy treats the next time you are confronted with the dreaded “snack list sign-up”!

Popcorn – easy and economical


Orange Slices – I defy you to give these to a group of boys and not have them shove them in their mouth like a Jack o Lantern!

Chex Mix

Trail Mix – be mindful of nut allergies

Popcorn, Pretzels, Goldfish mix 

Pretzels – often the individual packets can be found in the chip section

Peanut Butter Crackers – make your own, healthier and more economical – whole wheat crackers, rice crackers, nut crackers – again, be mindful of nut allergies

Granola Bars

Grapes – frozen grapes are a great snack for a hot afternoon {obviously use caution for young children as it could be a choking hazard}


Cheese Sticks

Water is the best drink to wash down the healthy snacks.  Like adults, kids don’t need to drink their calories.  One bottle of Gatorade Orange is 130 calories of sugar, yellow 6 and brominated vegetable oil.  No one needs that, let alone little growing bodies!  Water is zero calories of goodness.

What is your favorite healthy snack for your kids?

You may also enjoy:

10 Ways to Keep Kids Active in Winter

Healthy Eating and Your {adopted} Child

Some great snack resources: Widgets


  1. Julie F says

    You feed your kids like me. My kids eat fruits and veggies for snacks and mostly drink water with a tiny bit of juice and a little milk sometimes. We pack cheese sticks and grapes for outings.On special occasions they get pretzels or bunny crackers. They are 1 and 2 years old and have NEVER had fast food (I don’t eat it, so it is not tempting to give it to them). They eat real food for meals too. So important to me that they eat healthy.
    If they don’t see junk food in the house, they won’t know the difference.

  2. Kimberlie says

    This is becoming one of my pet peeves too but it’s my own fault. The first thing my kids do when they get in the car after school is say “what’s for snack?” and I was always ready with chips or cookies or crackers. Sometimes I would just bring cheese sticks or beef jerky and they’d eat it but complain. Now that we live only 7 minutes from school, I don’t bring snacks in the car any more. But they still ask “what’s for snack?” the minute they get in the car. When we get home I say, “you can have an apple, carrots, yogurt…” or some other healthy snack. I will even let them have toast sometimes. But all I get are questions about chips or complaints about now are “where are the good snacks?” When did we become a culture that had to send snacks to school for “snack time” because going from 7am breakfast until 11:30am lunch is “too long” and have to have afternoon snack right after school? I admit I totally fell into that pattern. Lately I have rebelled. My kids think I am mean anyway so I’ve been thinking of completely eliminating snacks between meals. Then maybe my kids will be less picky about dinner.

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