Healthy Sideline Eating

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This guest blog is brought to us by The Safety Mom, Alison Jacobson.

This is the week it began – the crazy sports practice schedules for my kids. My wall calendar looks like what I imagine an air traffic controller’s screen looks like and coordinating drop-offs and pick-ups is enough to keep me awake at night.

There’s also the issue of how to get some healthy food into everyone in the family when it seems as if most of our meals are eaten on the sidelines of someone’s game or practice. I will try not to shatter the dreams of the moms of babies who still believe they will have everyone around the family dinner table at night when their kids get older. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Whether it’s Little League, band practice, soccer, cheerleading or Pop Warner, most families are scattered across playing fields at all hours.

As a veteran cheer mom and soccer step-mom, I’ve learned some tricks on making sure that healthy eating isn’t sacrificed for after-school activities:

  1. Plan ahead! When you don’t have a plan the default becomes grabbing a snack from the store which probably won’t be the healthiest choice. Figure out snacks for the entire week and write it on a calendar that your kids can see.
  2. Stock up on small storage containers that you can fill with dried snacks at the beginning of the week so your kids can pack before school.
  3. Keep an extra water bottle in the car – someone will always run out of the house forgetting it.
  4. Look for snacks that are a combination of two food groups. A snack with protein and carbs will fill them up as well as provide the energy needed for activities. Most kids are going to after-school activities straight from the bus so try quick snacks with fresh or dried fruit or small sandwiches. Beef jerky is full of protein.
  5. Pack perishable items in an insulated bag with Microban technology for protection against bacteria that can grow on the interior lining. Check out the soft-side coolers from Arctic Zone. Their bags come in a wide variety of colors and sizes to fit your family’s needs, and the integrated antimicrobial protection keeps them cleaner between cleanings.
  6. Don’t pack snacks that need to stay cold for more than two hours.
  7. Bring squeezable yogurt and applesauce rather than cups. There’s less risk of spills and no utensils needed so less garbage in the car.

With just a little planning, you can keep your kids on a schedule and avoid any extra drama at dinnertime. Have fun on the sidelines!!

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