Sometimes the most important team player is the one who brings the snacks.
The best thing about a ballgame is winning. The second best thing is the snack you get after the final whistle has blown. You can provide your child's team with a filling, delicious snack that happens to be healthy. They'll walk away satisfied; you'll walk away one proud parent — no trophy necessary.
When it's your turn to tote the cooler into the park so your brood of ball players can fuel up after the game, here's a list of snacks you can feel good serving while also making their picky palates happy. I'll also share tips for transporting and storing team snacks so they stay cool and safe to eat after the game.
How to Safely Transport and Store Team Snacks
If your after-game snacks need to be kept chilled for food safety issues or just because they're more delicious when cold, you can carry them to the game in a cooler stuffed with frozen gel packs or ice in zip-top bags. Leaving food in a hot car or sitting on a bleacher seat in the sun can allow for bacteria from food-borne illnesses to flourish. No snack is worth an upset stomach later. Keep everything chilled to be safest.
Be sure to cover each tray of snacks with plastic wrap to prevent any moisture from condensation or melted ice. Store drinks you might be serving in a separate cooler since lots of little hands will want to reach in for a bottle.
Team-Pleasing Snack Ideas
You don't have to tell the kids these granola bars have the word "playgroup" in the title. After all, the words you use to describe a snack can go a long way toward convincing your crew they're eating something that's a real treat when secretly you know it's a bit better for them. So call them cookies if you want to, even though they're brimming with oatmeal, dried fruit, and vitamin-rich wheat germ. "This is the best recipe that even comes close to the expensive store bought bars," Allrecipes user Aunt B says.
Tip: Make these easy to hand out by cutting into individual pieces and wrapping in waxed paper. Use a bit of colorful washi tape to close the paper tight. Bonus points if it's team-colored tape.
2. Mixed Fruit Baggies
Kids generally like fruit, even the picky ones, but eating an apple or tearing apart an orange after the game can be a difficult feat. Take the work out of the fruit eating by slicing apples, segmenting oranges, and cutting grapes in half and sorting into individual baggies
Tip: Preventing browning on the apple slices by tossing them in apple juice before placing them in the bags.
Nuts are a great option for post-play snacks because they're a great source of energy-rich protein, healthy fats, and filling fiber. You can make the team happier by coating them in a sweet and spiced coating, like the cinnamon-sugar option for these Candied Almonds.
Tip: Divide almonds into individual bags. For a fast trail mix option, you can add whole-wheat puffed cereal and a sprinkle of dried fruit like cranberries or raisins.
4. Frozen Fruit Skewers
When temps start climbing, help the kids cool off faster with frozen bite-size fruit pieces on wooden skewers. Make these several days before the game, and freeze. This way, the fruit is extra cool and refreshing. Opt for fruit like grapes, blueberries, and melon, which freeze and thaw better than apple, banana, even oranges.
Tip: Instead of thin and fragile wooden skewers, look for inexpensive bamboo chopsticks. Smaller hands may have an easier time holding the slightly larger pieces.
Easy, versatile wraps and rollups can be filled with an endless combination of proteins and vegetables — an excellent approach to snack day if you're feeding kids with different food restrictions. After you roll each tortilla, cut in half, and wrap in aluminum foil or wax paper. Refrigerate at least two hours, or overnight.
Tip: Keeping them wrapped for several hours will help them hold their shape when kids are eating them.
Roasted chickpeas are a crispy, crunchy snack that happen to be a great replacement for junk food chips. But you'll want to consider loading them up with some fun flavor before offering them to the hungry crew. Savory, rich nutritional yeast is your secret weapon with these chickpeas. They had a seriously good cheesy flavor. Allrecipes Allstar Buckwheat Queen calls these roasted snacks "spicy little crunchy gems."
Tip: Chickpeas will turn soft if you put them in a storage bag or container too soon, so try to make these as close to game time as possible.