Apr 272013

So, it’s that time of year when baseball season begins and coaches create the infamous snack schedule. Oh yes, those of you with kids in sports know it all too well. And having 4 boys in sports, we have multiple snack schedules to manage. While I totally understand that kids might want a snack and/or a drink after the game, it has become routine that kids (and their siblings) expect to get treats after a game. The usual choice is some kind of “junk food” including Gatorade or Capri Sun and a bag of cookies or chips. Let’s face it, these usual snacks provide no nutritional value but do provide additional sugars, fats and carbs.

One year my son’s coach decided there were going to be no treats. One kid was so distraught and complained to his mom that he had to have snacks after the game, and the mom created her own snack schedule for the season. Now dont’ get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with buying snacks for the team, or having a snack every once in a while, but I also want to set a good example for my kids and their teammates. If we as parents continue to allow the snack schedule to rule, then we are in essence telling our kids that it is expected and okay to eat these “junk foods”.

There are many parents that are just not aware of the dangers that these foods are having on our kids. Some of us are aware and try our best to encourage kids to make healthier choices, but when other parents bring snacks that we are trying to avoid, it makes it difficult to tell your child no in front of all those other kids, that you are not allowed to have that snack. And the cycle continues.

I challenge you that the next time you are on point to bring snacks to a game, make the healthier choice. See what happens if you bring bananas or apples as a snack. For a drink, bring bottles of water. The kids might not think your treat is their favorite, but I will tell you that the mom’s will be extremely happy that you did.

There were a couple mom’s last year that brought pirates booty, fruit and bottled water to the game. Most of the mom’s were saying how nice it was to have a healthy snack for their kids as opposed to the junk that they normally get, but they were afraid to be the one parent to bring the “healthy food”. We all know it takes a village to raise a child and if we as parents take a stand on the snack schedule, we will be one step closer to educating additional families who might not be aware of the dangers of these junks foods and setting good examples for our kids on the importance of making healthier choices.

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