Don’t Drop the Ball on Kids’ Snacks

Don’t Drop the Ball on Kids’ Snacks

It’s the start of your nine-year-old’s youth baseball season…He’s at bat—a swing and a miss.

The 2-2 pitch hits the dirt and it gets by the catcher. Your kid heads for first base… and the catcher’s throw to first goes into the outfield. Your runner goes for second base, but he forgets to slide and the right fielder picks up the ball, throws to second and…he’s out.

Another season has started…with lots of opportunities and lots of errors (pretty common for beginning baseball players).

Related: Five Sneaky Ways to Boost Your Kids’ Nutrition

Another situation in kids’ sports in which there’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of errors is on the sidelines. Hot dogs, sodas, French fries, cookies, and chips are piled high during practices and games, cancelling out the health benefits of participation in team sports—and making it harder for kids to think about the right move, like sliding into second.

With childhood obesity on the rise, it’s time to redo the menu (for participants and spectators). Parents can draw up a menu plan, whether they bring food to the game or a vendor supplies it, that puts healthy choices in play and lands sodas and fatty, sweet processed foods on the disabled list.

Foods and beverages that hydrate and energize include: homemade fruit and yogurt ice-pops, fresh fruit—especially potassium-rich bananas; Greek yogurt with blueberries (add them yourself); water (every 20 minutes); celery filled with peanuts-only peanut butter; humus and 100% whole wheat pretzels, and much, much more. Now your kids will be safe at the plate!

Related: Seven Steps to Healthy Eating Habits for Children

Medically reviewed in September 2019.

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