Anybody remember being a kid and getting orange sections as a snack at your soccer (or other sport) game? Pretty sure that used to be the norm. Oranges and – shudder – water. The norm now… prepackaged crackers or cookies or other way processed snack food, served along with a “juice” box loaded with high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring and who knows what else. Not just bad in terms of the processing and questionable nutrition of the snacks themselves, but also bad in terms of all the packaging.
So what is a mom trying to feed her family fewer processed foods to do? Well, I don’t fuss when my kids are given these snacks at the end of the game because I’m not a Nazi about it. We do better where we can and don’t totally freak out about a processed snack every now and then. And when it was my turn this week to bring the snack… I caved and brought some little packages of Annie’s organic bunny crackers. While not perfect and still meaning a lot of extra packaging, they are marginally better than the usual stuff. And while I would really like to bring some orange segments, or hand out apples or bananas, I don’t want my son to be “that kid”. So we compromise.
But I wish we didn’t have to. It should be fine for a group of kids to eat fruit. Or – shudder – not need to have a snack after the game. Or if they need a snack after the game, their parents can provide it. Near as I can tell, the purpose of the snack isn’t nutrition after that hard hour of exercise. The purpose is that of a treat. Don’t get me wrong. Treats aren’t all bad. But after an early morning game, right before lunch (as was the case this weekend – a couple of weekends ago it was right before dinner) do we really need all the kids to get a treat? Can’t they just play their game and not have it be about the treat afterwards?
What do you think? Do kids really need a treat after their games? What type of treats should they get?