Thursday, May 21, 2015

Healthy Team Snacks - Part One

This year my husband decided to coach our youngest child in Little League. I thought this would be my perfect opportunity to implement Healthy Team Snacks by taking on the Team Parent role. 

When we had our first parent meeting I was glad to hear that many of the parents were on board with keeping the snacks healthy. One mom even came over and said "and make the snacks organic!" That was music to my ears, I had to give her a hug.

Our kids have been involved in team sports for 5 years now and I had witnessed the trend of junk and overly processed food as the easy grab and go option become the norm. It was my goal to help parents see the value of healthy snacks and see that it didn't really take a lot of time and that our kids would really eat them. I'm of the mindset that we can effectively impact their long term health by providing opportunities to eat healthy, especially when they are among their peers, whether that be at playgroup, birthday parties, team sports or school lunch. 

I know I don't want to lug a cooler to the fields when it's my turn to bring team snack. An easy solution is to get an insulated carrying case that you might use for picnics. We happened to win this one at a silent auction filled with goodies from Humphries Half Moon Inn & Suites a few years ago and it has gotten its fair share of use!

This reusable Hot & Cold Pack from Rite Aid has been an integral part of our Healthy Team Snack Bag because I'm usually packing something that needs to stay cold.... and it's not drinks.... this season I explained that the kids had their water bottles in the dug out and they don't need sugary drinks.

Recently, it was our turn to bring team snack. This particular week I did have a couple of organic items on hand that were perfect for team snack. It was actually organic baby carrots from Costco that served as my gateway to buying organic.

The Organic Valley "Stringles" is just one of the small changes we made in our food purchases after I attended ShiftCon.

Costco doesn't have organic grapes (at least the one I live closest to), so I normally give them a water-vinegar bath. I was out of vinegar this particular day and used Apple Cider Vinegar with water to rinse off some of that chemical residue. It's an important step because grapes are on the EWG Dirty Dozen. Sometimes I can't remember which items are on the Dirty Dozen and find myself second guessing myself when I'm grocery shopping. Well, the EWG has made it easier for us mom....  offering a free Consumers Guide to Pesticides in Produce bag tag when you support them with a $10 donation. I just did this and will be sure to share when I receive it!

I'm glad I got turned onto Braggs ACV and had it on  hand because I end up using it for a bunch of things.

 As I've mentioned before, clementines are a staple in our house, so adding one of those to each snack bag would ensure there was something in there that every kid liked. Really, when you think about it, generally kids like all of these things!

Putting 12 of these baggies together took about 20 minutes because I had to let the grapes soak. Keeping the team snack cool is critical if you want it to be well received.

We don't keep score, so at the end of the game everyone is a winner. And I feel like I'm a winner too when I can help a bunch of kids embrace healthy eating! 

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