Serving Up a Smooth Sports Snack Schedule

This post is a continuation of my Sports Season Survival Series.  If you missed last week’s post where I talked about Scheduling Conflicts, you can read it here.  These are my thoughts on how to take a good turn at bringing the team snacks and drinks when your day arrives:

Have you ever seen the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where they take the snacks for game day and their snacks are not on the “approved” list?  I love that episode!  Fortunately, I have never encountered anything like that as long as my boys have been playing sports.  J did play on a team with a child who had allergies and honestly, the other parents on the team just made an effort to make sure we brought snacks that didn’t contain those allergens.   I’ve seen parents bring everything from Krispy Kreme donuts to clementines on their snack turns and both were just as equally well-received.  I have noted that parents who don’t want their kids to have the snacks trade out with their own kid for their own or hold their kid’s snack for “later”.  Mostly though I’ve noticed parents who really aren’t that uptight about what their kids get for a snack and drink once a week after playing a sports game.  Also, we’ve yet to sign up for any team or sport where we were presented with an approved snack list.

Making Snack Day Work in Your Flavor Favor:

  • Offer to Make the Snack and Drink Schedule!  Is it a little extra work?  Yes.  However, it gives you the absolute advantage in picking the EXACT day you want (fill in your dates and times first!).  When I make the schedules, I usually make them in Excel using my extremely limited knowledge of the program so that parents can see at a glance when the game times are as well as any extra information like when picture day is happening (I personally do not like our snack/drink turn to fall on picture day as that is too much for this mom to track!  Keeping my kids clean is hard enough 😉

  • Take the FIRST game (or second if the coach does snacks for the first game).  I did this over the summer with J’s baseball team.  I cannot express enough how nice it was to not have to worry about if it was our turn or not the rest of the season!

  • If it is a schedule where snacks and drinks are listed separately, just volunteer to do both on the same day!  I ahem wouldn’t know anything about signing up for one or the other and then spending time trying to remember if we were supposed to bring the drinks or the snacks for the game.

  • Two (or more) kid tip:  Sign up to do their snacks and drinks for the same day!  This gets it completely out-of-the-way!  It also avoids the worry about which child’s team gets snacks and drinks when.

  • Know how many players are on the team but also take notice of how many siblings (especially younger ones) are milling around at practices and games.  Personally, I find it difficult to turn down a wide-eyed four-year old with a “these are for the team ONLY!”  and I’ve also had sweet players ask if they can take an extra for their brother/sister.  Be prepared for it but do make sure all the team-mates get their snacks and drinks first if you are worried about having enough.  I also think it is polite to make sure you offer a snack or drink to the coach as well.

  • Sam’s Club or Costco are great places to buy snacks and drinks but you can also find fairly good deals at the grocery store, Target, or Wal-Mart as long as you know your prices.

  • DO NOT (this may just be here) I repeat DO NOT buy your snacks and drinks too early.  Unless you have an amazing hiding spot, I can almost guarantee they will disappear or if you are like me, you will find yourself packing them in school lunches out of desperation one morning and have to re-buy them anyway.  On the flip side, buying them the morning of the game may be cutting it a little close although it can and has been done (more than once) here.

  • A wheeled cooler is good for transporting and keeping drinks cool on a hot day especially if you have to walk many miles of fields to get where you are going (the bottom of a stroller works well also if you are braving it on the fields).  Keep chocolate covered treats out of the sun even if it is not that hot out (don’t ask how I know that).  READ the label and I’m not necessarily talking ingredients…If the package says 12 cakes, make sure it doesn’t in smaller print say 6 individual wrapped packages.  It stinks to have to tell your own kids not to take the treats because you are parent incapable of performing simple mathematical logical thinking (and yes, I am speaking from personal experience here).

  • Try to pay attention to the game times when deciding on what snacks and drinks you will provide.   I don’t really mind what my boys get as snacks and drinks but I am usually appreciative if they are not getting huge cookie sandwiches after a game that ends right around lunch time.

  • It is fun to let your kids help pick what they want to take to the games but be prepared to have a budget discussion on occasion if you do this.

Tomorrow is our turn for G’s game and most likely (I say that as I’ve not actually purchased the snacks yet!), we’ll be handing out Halloween themed mini-packages of Oreos and Gatorade (the game is in the afternoon–well after lunch and before dinner).  In the past, we’ve handed out individual packages of Sunchips (popular!), Oreo Cakesters (not a good value–read the packages!), Fruity Pebble Bars (J’s favorite thing to pass out), Fruit Snacks (a big deal around here because I refuse to normally purchase them).  Generally, if I can find a deal, I like to give out Gatorade after the games but if not, any type of juice box/bag with a straw usually suffices.  I don’t pass out waters (unless it is a billion degree day) as most of the players had water all through the game.   With my boys, Gatorade is their favorite drink to get and G loves to get chips while J gets more excited about anything in the cookie/brownie categories.  My kids also know to say “No, thank you” if they do not care for the snack or drink as well as “Thank you” to the person handing them out.

Do you have any snack day tips to add?   What snacks and drinks do you hand out when your turn rolls around?


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