Being a retired pilot and flight instructor, I love my role of being personal soccer coach to my grandchildren. Watching my grandkids indulge in soccer play makes me proud to be their granddaddy because, in one way or another, there’s always something within each of them that tells me they are unmistakably my grandchildren.
One of my greatest concerns as their unofficial soccer coach is the nutrition they are getting during games. However, from the first game that I supervised for my lovely grandkids until now, I have been happy to have seen good quality soccer snacks in their lunch bags.
There are a variety of packaged snacks on grocery shelves, but most of them are high in fat and sugar content while being deficient from genuine nutritional value. Although soccer snacks should be handy, quick and easy, convenience doesn’t have to compromise on healthy options.
Aside from bananas and orange slices, there are plenty of other healthy snack options that can support the requirements of young soccer players. All that is needed is adequate planning and getting your child to agree with your nutrition plan.
A soccer snack should serve as a mini-meal that enables the young player to get the needed nutrients and energy to play well, learn fantastic soccer moves and focus on the game. It should provide the essential ‘staying’ power to keep the young player full for a longer time during a game or practice, aside from being packed with nutrients.
Hearty mini-sandwiches made out of whole-grain crackers can be topped with a squeeze of lunch meat, peanut butter or cheese. These make quick pick-me-ups for soccer players to munch on during practice.
Ac makes an all-time favorite snack, and it can comprise grapes, cheese and pineapple chunks on skewers. Fruit kabobs have all the nutrition an adult can feel good about while delivering the taste that kids will surely love.
I have also seen how my grandkids love half of the bagels cut into four and filled with strawberry cream cheese or peanut butter and topped with a single slice of strawberry. I prepare my natural homemade trail mix to create that excellent savory and sweet mix packed with all-natural, healthy ingredients to give my wards a satisfying snack.
My grandkids also love honey-roasted almonds, peanuts or cashews as well as raisins or almonds covered in dark chocolate. That’s aside from pumpkin seeds, homemade popcorn and high-fiber cereal.
I also make them some fruit salad with bite-sized crunchy peaches, mandarin oranges, pears or apples, which is always flavorful especially when tossed with just an adequate quantity of wildflower honey.
I have also seen my grandkids snack on frozen yogurt tubes, which make a great grab-and-go snack. Easy to keep cold in a cooler, these can travel quite well. I sometimes bring whole grain fig Newtons drizzled with applesauce. I believe my grandchildren love the apple variety more than the strawberry for their fig Newtons, so I just eat the strawberry ones myself.
Whether my grandkids snack on baby carrots in ranch dressing, hearty banana muffins or low-fat cheese sticks, as long as they are happy and healthy, I am, too. It’s fun being their granddad!