My two oldest kids recently started recreational soccer with my husband (their dad) as the coach. My son played soccer last year and I remember being disappointed with the snacks. There would usually be something healthy like fruit or carrot sticks combined with juice or a sports drink and another treat like gummy snacks. This contributed (a lot) to his added sugar intake. Check out this blog post from a fellow dietitian on what added sugar intake for kids looks like. My kids are playing in a 4-6 year old age group and let's be honest - there is not a lot of hard core soccer playing occurring out there on the "pitch". The league we play in (Upward) requires all player to have equal playing time so the kids get plenty of rest. The few electrolytes lost by these kids can easily be replace at the next meal and hydration can be maintained by drinking plain water before, during, and after games.
I understand snacks are something many kids enjoy, and since my husband is the coach this year I decided to capitalize on the opportunity to make healthy snack changes. I edited a letter template from Real Mom Nutrition found here. I encouraged parents to bring only fruit for snacks. Not only is this better for the health of our players, but it is also less expensive for the parents who bring the snacks.
Here is a copy of the letter we sent to the team parents.
It's been three games and so far my kids have enjoyed it. I brought snacks the first week. I brought whole bananas and wrote encouraging messages on the peel with a Sharpie. I've found some really cute fruit options on Pinterest so be sure to check out my Fun Fruit for Sports Snacks board.
Here are a couple pics of my kids at the first soccer game, as you can see, it's not real action packed.
For more reading check out this related post from another dietitian.
How do you handle recreational sports snacks?
Update: My son also played Upward basketball. Here is the snack I brought on the week we were assigned.