How Do You Feel About Fruit and Water Only For Kids’ Sports?

“Would you support a fruit-and-water-only snack policy for your kid’s sports team?” That’s the question we posed to our Facebook followers on March 5, in the form of a poll. 303 people said yes, 41 said no.

I’d like to take that concept further. If you would support such a policy, tell me this: Would you welcome a letter like the one that follows? Please keep in mind that it’s referring to young children playing low-intensity peewee-type activities–NOT older kids in sports where they’re burning lots of calories and expending a lot of energy. (That’s key!) Please read the letter and then answer the poll. This is all part of the research we’re doing for a story in the magazine on kids and snacks. Thanks!

I’m organizing the team snack schedule this season, and the coach and I have a suggestion: Remember the orange slices we all ate on the sidelines as kids? Let’s bring them back!
We’re concerned about the snacks being offered at kids’ games and know that many of you are, too. We all sign our kids up for sports to keep them active and fit, but the cookies, chips, cupcakes, doughnuts, and sugary drinks handed out after games aren’t in line with that mission.
This season we’re requesting a fruit-and-water-only snack policy for our team. Fruit contains carbohydrates to replenish their energy, plus vitamins, fiber, and extra fluid to hydrate them. And according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children need only to drink water after exercise, not juice or sports drinks.
When it’s your turn to supply snacks, we ask that you bring fresh fruit, such as apples, grapes, slices of watermelon, or unsweetened dried fruit.
Bananas and small boxes of raisins are inexpensive options. Each child should bring his or her own full water bottle to each game. Please do not bring juice boxes/pouches or sports drinks for the team.
If you don’t think your child will eat fruit or you feel he needs something more after the game, please bring your own snack and give it to your child when he’s away from the field.
With this snack policy, our team can set an example for the whole league. We all care about our kids and want the best for them, so let’s start here. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this policy. Thank you!

Image: Five little boys sit on a bench via Shutterstock

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  1. by Catherine

    On March 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I would welcome this letter. Heck, I might even SEND this letter. It’s polite and provides sound reasons. I get annoyed by the “don’t tell me what to feed my kid” mentality. This isn’t telling you what not to feed your kid (you can bring your own snack if you insist). It’s telling you what not to feed MY kid. And I don’t want you to feed him junk.

  2. by Ron Gosselin

    On March 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Anything that gets parents and kids thinking about good health practices is worth the effort of promoting. If the parents don’t agree for their own children they can feed them junk later… but maybe those kids will learn from this example and teach their parents better health options.

  3. by Nicole

    On March 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Honestly, I don’t see why one parent needs to supply the whole team with a snack. When I played, my mom or dad packed my own snack or drink, or *gasp!* I didn’t have a snack at all. Why do we need an official snack after a peewee baseball game?

  4. by Wendy

    On March 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Games last 1 hour, have your kids drink water. Team snacks are not necessary! If you want your kid to have a snack – bring it yourself! I would like to know who started this tradition anyway. Some teams want you to bring a snack for halftime and the end of the game. I don’t eat every 30 minutes and I don’t want to encourage my kids to think they have to eat every time they exert any physical energy. You have to bring the junk food or all the kids won’t eat the snack. I vote for WATER!!!!!

  5. by Kaely

    On March 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I’m the “no snack” mom. I don’t remember having team snacks when I was a kid. I was a swimmer and we frequently had all day meets. I brought something with me and ate when I needed to. I always speak to the coach before the season begins and ask that we don’t do group snacks. Most of the time they appreciate not having to deal with that chore and send the message to the other parents. We have had times when some other parent on the team takes it upon them-self to start bringing the cupcakes and “fruit” punch and then I get the fun time of pulling my kid away crying at the end of the game because everyone else is getting a cupcake and I won’t let him have one.

  6. by Jennifer Hansen

    On March 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I support either the fruit/water snack idea or the no snack at all idea. I’m leaning more towards the no snack at all idea because kids do not need to eat constantly. If they’re hungry when they get home, eat dinner or serve them a snack then.

  7. by Carmella

    On March 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I know when I was in sports in grade school noone would e en think of brings junk food to games or practice!!!! Gatoraid juice….there was never even thought of!!! Water was the only option for one reason being that we guzzled it down so fast and it was free!!!!

  8. by Elisabeth

    On March 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I find that the parents with the “Don’t tell me how to _____ ” attutides are usually the most ill informed and uneducated parents. Almost like the kid that yells “You’re not the boss of me” to a parent!
    I’d welcome a letter like this. In fact I am one that would send it out and try to talk other parents into healthier choices. Sure sweets, snacks, chips, etc. are ok on occasion, but there are plenty of healthy alternatives.

  9. by April

    On March 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I think they should just instill a everyone bring their own drink and snacks policy. I don’t care what other kids eat but I want to control what my kids eat. I have to control what my kid eats as he has a food allergy so sharing snacks never works out great for us anyway.