Contributor Confessions: I am the soccer mom that brings healthy snacks


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.

I am the soccer mom that brings healthy snacks | Dallas Moms Blog
That time I brought apples and Cuties… and juice, of course!

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?


  1. Jenny, I feel your pain. I’m so happy that my kids are grown, because even back then, I balked at the junk snack. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, part of my job is education, then encouragement for my clients to understand the damage that poor food choices can make. I love speaking to parents (last year at Grace Academy) about foods that promote focus and success in school. Give me a buzz sometime, would love to chat with a like minded sister.

  2. Jenny,

    I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one. In fact, I figured I was following the norm. You see, I signed up to take snacks for the first game of my son’s first season of soccer, and I assumed healthy snacks would be the typical treat. Rookie mistake apparently! Not only was I wrong, but I had the same reaction from the other kids – reluctant acceptance. At least for now, my son is young enough not to be embarrassed by it (HE loved the apples, grapes and cuties that mom brought). 🙂

  3. I find this is actually much more the norm these days. Not always fruit but I’ve never seen cupcakes or the like except for end of year celebrations.

  4. I agree- why do kids need juice all the time? After a game when they are hot might be the best time for kids to drink water because they are more thirsty. That way they learn how refreshing cold water can be!

  5. Healthy snacks are the norm for my middle daughter’s team. And for my oldest, they each bring their own(if they so desire), and Coach expects them to be healthy to sustain their energy in the 2nd half.

  6. I HATE the whole snack thing. Everybody should just be in charge of their own kid, that way you can feed them whatever you want. It’s a pain providing snacks for the whole damn team. And parents and kids can be hard to please, some are disappointed you bring healthy snacks, others may balk at your organic juice because not everybody can afford that. I wish everybody did away with feeding the whole team.

  7. OMG, my son is in fall baseball this season (on a new team) and just this week I already sensed I’m “that different mom”. I volunteered to bring snacks to game 1, which ended around 9:45 pm or so (age group 10-11). I brought a light, healthier snack of Pirates Booth & Gatorade (for replenishing what sweat drained). The kids didn’t seem to mind at all, but the next night, the parent brought large homemade rice Krispy treats with additional frosting and a baggie that included gum, candies, a tangerine/clementine, & Gatorade. I was so surprised when the Coach cracked a joke about wanting then to bring snacks for every game.

    Say whaaat? 1. It’s late at night during the school week. 2. As “wannabe athletes” shouldn’t the kids be learning to treat their bodies better?

    I don’t think I’m overly strict on my son’s intake, but overloading them with artificial sugars (especially that close to bedtime!) is definitely not in the best interest of the kids…. well, at least not MY kid.

    All that to say, I totally agree with you!


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