To be fair, I wouldn’t really call myself a soccer mom. My son is only 5, and this is only our 3rd season to play Small Fry soccer through the YMCA. I don’t ever know the score at any given moment and I have been known to yell phrases such as, “That’s it, hit the ball with your feet!” We love how the Y coaches (husbands of my friends and friends from church) don’t mind that our son spent the entire first season alternately crying on the sidelines and picking flowers on the ground.
One thing that bugs me about soccer, though. The after-game snacks. I get it, the kids just played in the sun and ran around and they are hot and hungry. Totally. We need snacks.
But here’s the thing. Saturdays. Or any day, really. We probably either just came from someone’s birthday party or we are going to one right after the game. Cupcakes, candy, juice boxes. Maybe an outdoor festival or a fair (it’s spring in DFW!). Snacks, fried foods, sodas. We will end up going out for a meal at least once in the next day or so. Sugary beverages, juice, and possibly and ice cream treat. They’ll be at church the next day with a very creative teacher who uses jellybeans or marshmallows or another special snack. Candy or processed crackers. In addition, my kids each still have a stash of Valentine’s/Easter/Halloween candy at home.
Do you see the trend? I know that it’s supposed to be a special treat, a reward. I’ve heard the argument “it’s just this one time, once a week”. But that’s the thing with our Dallas children’s lives: everything is a “just one time”. The treats never stop. It becomes expected. There is no such thing as “one special thing” anymore. It becomes a lifestyle of sugar and processed foods.
And do you know how many calories a typical 5 year old expends play 20 minutes of soccer (the game is 45 minutes but they take turns with only 3 on the field at a time)? This mom who is a registered dietician estimates 150 calories, max.
So when it comes to soccer treats, I’ve tried to bring some healthy perspective in when it is our turn. We have brought apples, clementines (Cuties), air-popped popcorn. We have brought unsweetened organic fruit juices. I’d actually prefer that everyone stick with water, but I know that there is an expectation of juice. I’m not going to lie, the kids seemed a little disappointed with fruit. But I’ve also had a few parents thank me.
In researching this topic, I found that one blogger even created a Sports Snacktivism kit of downloadable letters to coach and team parents. Her tactic is to implement a fruit-only soccer snack policy. That would definitely be my dream situation. Maybe some day…
What do you bring when it is your turn to bring snacks? What would you think if another parent brought fruit? What about foregoing juice? Yes or no?