Friday, February 19, 2016

Healthier Post-Game Team Snack Ideas (Nut-Free!)

When Big Sis first started playing competitive soccer a few years ago and then Little Sis quickly followed suit, one of the most exciting things about it was that we longer had to deal with post-game team snacks. Haha!! Never mind how much it cost to play on these competitive teams or that it turned me into the soccer mom that I had vowed never to be before having kids or even the 6-7 practices plus 2-4 games each a weekend, we were just happy WE NO LONGER HAD TO DEAL WITH TEAM SNACKS! YAY!! And, ok, they look pretty cool in their fancy uniforms. :)


I've never been a huge fan of team snacks. "Snacks" in general, had become a bad word in my book thanks to Big Sis who has always been one of those kids that asks, "Can I have a snack?" 2 minutes after *barely* finishing an hour-long ordeal meal. Add in the few tears that were shed early on over the snacks they couldn't to eat due to their peanut/tree-nut allergies and thus my disdain for them grew. Yet, I know it's become a part of what so many kids enjoy about "game day", so instead of fighting it, I tried to meet 'em in the middle by looking for healthier options. But there have been plenty of times when I just gave in completely. lol.

Now that my girls have both picked up a new rec sport to play (basketball), we have entered the post-game snack world once more...

Little Sis's very first tip-off ever. Because she was the tallest on her team. And the other team too. 

Big Sis & her use of speed & aggression in b'ball. Wish she'd use it more in soccer!

I thought it would be fun to put together this post about some healthier nut-free snack ideas. I probably should've done this years ago, as a guide for myself and friends/fellow team parents who've asked, but oh well, better late than never, right? :) It's not a comprehensive list by any means, just a compilation of nut-free snacks we've brought to games throughout the years. Some, I saw other parents bring and just thought they were really good ideas! Most of these you can find in grocery stores and stores like Target, Walmart, BJ's Warehouse, etc. but I included Amazon affiliate links so you could see the products as well as order them from the comfort of your computer, if you're lazy like me. And I'll admit, I won't mind earning a little extra change should you decide to be lazy like me. :)

Please take note that while I've found these snacks to be safe for my girls (one is very allergic to peanuts and the other to tree nuts), they may not be for other kids who may be even more sensitive. Also, these snacks aren't necessarily free of other allergens such as dairy, egg, gluten, soy, etc. So if you're concerned and in doubt, just ask the parents and remember to definitely bring the packaging so parents can decide for themselves.

One last thing to note before the list... though my tree-hugging side hates to say it, I've found that pre-packaged snacks are the best way to go for game day snacks. They're easier to hand out (especially if your kids love doling them out like mine do) and easier to read the ingredients for those dealing with food allergies. As much as I love those homemade treats, it's nearly impossible for a parent of kids with food allergies to trust that they'd be "safe".

Now on with the list...


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Snacks - "Crunchy"
  1. Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies: a great alternative to Goldfish and Cheez-Its
  2. Sensible Portions' Veggie Straws. I quite often find these very light, airy and very crunchy snacks irresistible! 
  3. Smartfood's White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn: These may be a little messy on the fingers but they sure are always a hit!
  4. Snack Factory's Pretzel Crisps: The girls love these paired with a fine cheese stick. ;)
  5. Pirate's Booty: Cheesy poofs! Gluten-free too. Baked, not fried. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  6. Frito Lays Baked Chip Varieties: Sometimes the girls just want chips. These aren't so horrible. :)
  7. Cascadian Farm Granola Bars (Chocolate Chip or Vanilla Chip): One of the only granola bars I've found that are safe for my girls. And they're organic!
  8. Clif KidZ Protein Bars (In Chocolate Chip or Chocolate Mint varieties): One of the only protein bars that my girls can eat safely. They are made with wholesome ingredients, are mostly orgranic and non-GMO, to boot!
  9. Individually packaged Pringles are always a hit I've noticed... especially the sour cream ones. Kids have literally cried because we ran out of the sour cream one first. Too bad they don't sell just packs of those!
    
   

Snacks - Dairy
  1. Cheese sticks: My girls love pairing these and the next 2 cheeses with Pretzel Crisps
  2. Laughing Cow Cheese: I love these too and can easily down 2 or 3 in one sitting, though I try really hard to just stick to one wedge.
  3. Mini Babybel Cheese Wheels : Not only are they yummy, kids certainly have fun opening the wax casing, too.
  4. Squeezable Yogurts: Like Gogurts, YoSqueeze and plenty of other brands with no artificial flavors, colors, high fructose syrup and some even organic. Fun frozen, too!
  5. Smoothie drinks: Like Danimals in their cute little mini bottles. The perfect portion for kids, if you ask me.
Snacks - Fruity
  1. Freeze Dried Fruits like Brother's All-Natural which are non-GMO. Kids always seemed to be very intrigued by these, especially when you call them "astronaut fruit"! 
  2. Applesauce Pouches like GoGo Squeez. No spoons necessary!
  3. All-natural fruit snacks, fruit leathers, fruit straws, etc, like Annie's Homegrown Fruit snacks or Simply Balanced brands from Target. Who doesn't love a good fruit snack?
   

Snacks - Fruits & Veggies... In case you actually have kids that would enjoy these (unlike one of mine)
  1. Apples: small whole or pre-packaged slices
  2. Oranges: of the tangerine or Cutie variety
  3. Bananas: ooh ah ah ah!
  4. Pre-packaged single serving size veggies: Like carrots or sugar snap peas. Sure, why not?
Treats (if you must, lol.) Of course these won't necessarily be healthy, not even health-ier, but these particular brands are at least nut-free!
  1. Maplehurst Bakeries' Nut-free Cupcakes are usually found in your grocer's bakery and/or bakery freezer case. We pretty much have to avoid any grocery store bakery section cupcakes/baked goods because they just can't guarantee cross-contamination, but if you look carefully at some of the pre-packaged baked goods, you will run into the "nut-free" label. This is one particular brand that we go to quite often.
  2. Skeeter Snacks Nut-Free Chocolate Chip cookies. My girls actually like the taste of these nut-safe cookies, unlike some of the other ones.
  3. Annie's Bunny Grahams. Big Sis and I have a difference of opinion on these. I classify them as a treat, she says their not really a treat because they aren't that sweet. I'm still putting it in the treat section. lol.
  4. These pre-packaged variety of cookies have been safely consumed by my girls: Oreos, Chips Ahoy (Original), Fudge Stripes just to name a few.
Drinks
  1. Back to Nature Juice Pouches: They have a whopping 19 grams of sugar per pouch but my girls love the taste of this fruit punch (as do I), more so than any of the other all-natural/organic brands out there. These aren't organic but contain NO artificial preservatives, flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup. Plus they are non-GMO.
  2. Honest Kids' Organic Juice Pouches: My girls aren't huge fan of these as they only have 9 gram of sugar per pouch, (punks!), but I've seen other kids chug this stuff so it can't be that bad! I just wish mine would!
  3. Horizon Milk Cartons, White or Chocolate: "Many nutritionists say that chocolate milk is one of the best post-workout recovery drinks." I lifted this quote out of my cookbook: The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet by Laura Fuentes. There's a killer homemade chocolate syrup recipe in it for making chocolate milk. Big Sis wholeheartedly agrees with Laura and throws it in my face when I sometimes just feel like saying no. haha. 
  4. Vita Coco Kids Juice Pouches: Another low in sugar drink at 8 grams. I saw my girls drink this at a party once and they said they liked it! Need to test them out some more. :)
  5. Mini containers of water? I've seen these go over just fine before. The cute little bottles probably helped. lol.
    

So there it is! Did I miss anything? Do you have any more healthier nut-free post game snack ideas? If so, please leave a comment and I just may add 'em to this post!

For more information on food allergies, but sure to visit: FARE - Food Allergy Research & Education.


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Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do your girls have epipens?

Christine Yoon-Taylor said...

Yes, they both do, though luckily we have yet to use them, knock on wood!

Smith said...

nice