The best post-game snacks for kids

Lessons on proper ways to fuel an active body are just as vital as teaching kids to throw and pass.

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Photo: Tony Lanz

Some parents feel that a post-game treat is a nice reward. Others dislike the idea of pairing healthy exercise with junk food, but don’t want to embarrass their kids by being the only one offering apples instead of cookies. Here are some nutritious ideas that should make everyone happy.

For budding athletes
Young kids new to sports will only burn about 100 calories per game, so why refuel them with 350 calories in snacks? Most are happy with snacks that are fun and whimsical. Here are some ideas:

* Thread fruit and cheese on skewers, or package cheese strings and crackers in bags.

* Serve popcorn or trail mix (popcorn, raisins, cereal, pumpkin seeds) in paper cups or cones.

* Make “message bananas”: Write “good game!” on bananas with a toothpick. As the marks brown, the message will magically appear.

* Add character stickers to apples or pears, or freeze yogurt tubes.

For competitors
Kids taking part in vigorous sports should have post-game snacks that contain protein to aid muscle recovery, carbohydrates to replenish energy, and fluid to ensure proper hydration. Parents offering cheese strings, fruit and water have the right idea. Other ideas include:

* Half a bagel with soynut butter

* Trail mix or granola bars with less than 7 g sugar

* Homemade whole-grain muffins

* Cheese strings and crackers

* Greek yogurt cups

Some teams forgo the post-game snack altogether to save parents time and money, and to avoid allergy issues. An open discussion about your team’s snack policy will put everyone on the same page.

A version of this article appeared in our June 2015 issue with the headline, “The  snack situation,” p. 38.

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