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Healthy Post-Sport Snacks for Kids

For most kiddos, back to school also means back to sports. All school-aged kids and teenagers need nutrition that supports their growth and activity level, which is why it’s important to replenish their calories and nutrients after sports practices. Most parents don’t have time to make elaborate Pinterest-style snacks every day, but unfortunately, prepackaged snacks tend to be packed with sugar.

If you’re looking for a healthier option to give your kids after sports practices, it comes down to understanding their nutrition and finding quick and portable options you can pack.

Essential nutrients for kids

When it comes to your kids’ nutrition, there are three keys to having healthy post-sports snacks they’ll love: they need to be easy, packable and nutritious. The most important thing to give your kids during and after their sports is water, so make sure you include a reusable bottle of water for every practice.

Carbohydrates are crucial for energy and protein is important to help their growing muscles recover after exercise. There’s no need to count your kids’ calories or get it down to a science every time, but try to include an appropriate serving of healthy carbs and protein in each after sport snack.

Fruits and veggies are a great source of healthy carbohydrates, as are whole wheat crackers, cereal and bread. Cheese, yogurt, nuts and lean meat are great sources of protein to help your kids feel full throughout the day.

10 healthy post-sport snack ideas for kids

Here are 10 healthy snack combos to pack for your kids’ sports practices or to give them as soon as they get home. 

  1. Apple slices and peanut butter - Pre-cut apple slices dipped in peanut butter offer a healthy source of carbs, protein and fat. Plus, they taste good and are easy to prepare and pack.
  2. String cheese, nuts and fruit - A combination of cheese, nuts and fruit are easy to prepare at the beginning of the week and have ready to go for your kiddo. It gives them a little variety and offers a healthy serving of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
  3. Whole wheat crackers and cheese with a clementine - Whole wheat crackers and cheese offer a filling and tasty mix of carbs and protein that your kids will love. A clementine on the side offers vitamin C for the immune system and a yummy daily serving of fruit. Yogurt and berries - Prepackaged yogurt can have a lot of sugar, but it’s easy to combine plain yogurt and berries for a healthy and delicious snack. Yogurt is not only a great source of protein but also has benefits for your child’s gut health.
  4. Carrots, hummus and cheese - Baby carrots are an effortless grab-and-go snack. Pair them with hummus and a cheese stick for additional protein. You can find both in individually packaged serving sizes so older kids can pack their snack themselves. 
  5. Peanut butter and banana sandwich - Peanut butter and banana slices on whole wheat bread are a low-sugar alternative to the classic PB&J. It’s yummy, full of protein and potassium for strong muscles and easy to eat on the go.
  6. Popcorn and grapes - Popcorn is a crowd favorite, and if it's not covered in salt and butter, it’s actually a good source of carbohydrates to keep your kiddo energized throughout practice. There are plenty of healthy popcorn options that come in single servings at the grocery store. Pack a serving of grapes or melon for a side of fresh fruit. 
  7. Turkey or chicken wrap - A whole wheat wrap filled with lean meat, fresh spinach, and your child’s favorite sauce is a great source of healthy carbs, lean meat and iron. 
  8. Low-sugar cereal and mixed fruit - Dry, low-sugar cereal is a great option for on-the-go snacks. Throw in a bag of fresh fruit and you have a balanced after-sport snack your kids will love. 
  9. Low-sugar granola bar and dried fruit - Granola bars can be tricky, so make sure you check the ingredients to avoid sugary granola snacks. Pair a low-sugar granola bar with dried fruit for a snack your kids can eat quickly and take anywhere. 
  10. Giving your kids healthy snack options after sports practices is so important, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Don’t overthink it — switch things up when you can and choose snacks your kids will want to eat. 

Remember, balance is more important than perfection. Try to include fruits and veggies when you can, balance carbohydrates with protein and always include water! 

For more healthy living tips for the whole family, read our On Your Health blog. 

 

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