Oh, no. The family car is packed up for the big travel ball tournament with gloves, baseball bats, softball bats, suitcases, etc.. But, as you are pulling out of the driveway, you remember that it is your turn to provide team snacks after the game. What are you going to bring them? Candy and soda? Don’t stress; JustBats is here to inform you of the 15 best snacks for your favorite Little League team. This list contains both food and drinks, so let's start with food first.
Everyone's favorite snack; goldfish. Who doesn't love them? This fish-shaped food is a childhood staple. Believe it or not, a single serving size of Goldfish is 55 pieces. That's a lot! With 140 calories and 240mg of sodium per serving, these adorable crackers may not be the healthiest option on our list, but they will be a fan favorite.
An excellent and healthy choice. Fresh fruit is both nutritious and delicious! Here are a few of our favorite kinds:
- Bananas. High in potassium, bananas are a must to help decrease the risk of cramps. They also provide essential nutrients that benefit your health, especially in those who participate in sports such as baseball. With manganese and an abundance of carbohydrates, bananas assist in bone development, wound healing, and energy replenishment. While this is a post game snack list, bananas are a great pre-game snack as well.
- Apples / Applesauce. You know what they say, right? An apple a day keeps the doctor away. You can never go wrong with apples as a snack.
- Oranges / Clementines. Oranges have been proven to increase the effectiveness of any workout. A variety of different vitamins and minerals inside of oranges and clementines are needed to help muscles stay strong and repair themselves after a grueling 9+ inning game. Not only do oranges and clementines taste great, but if you have your athlete peel them in your car on the ride home, it will keep your car smelling citrusy fresh rather than sweaty socks. What a way to kill two birds with one stone.
- Watermelon. A summertime favorite. Watermelon is an insanely good way to help re-hydrate one's body. While it does take a bit more effort on the part of the parent to cut it, the players will approve!
While fresh veggies may not be as popular as fresh fruit with the Little League baseball players, they are still a necessity in any athlete's diet. Here are the vegetables most recommended for a post-game snack:
- Carrot Sticks. First off, keep an eye out for those crinkly carrot fries to help make this snack more kid friendly. Carrots are, without a doubt, one of the most popular types of vegetables out there. Packed full of vitamin A and fiber, carrots help cleanse the body of toxins and prevent heart disease. Plus, this crunchy power food includes beta-carotene which has been proven to protect against certain types of cancer.
- Celery Sticks. Everybody knows that celery sticks by themselves are not the most enjoyable snack. But, include a dab of peanut butter, some tuna fish, or even some cream cheese, and you've got yourself a snack that'll compete with the best of them. Don't forget to include those raisins on top of the peanut butter for the famous Ants on a Log recipe.
- Peppers. The brighter the color, the sweeter the taste. If you are having a hard time choosing between green, yellow, or red peppers, let us help you. Green peppers are harvested the earliest which leads to the least amount of vitamins and more of a bitter taste. Yellow are next and red are last. Yellow peppers contain the most vitamin C (which is great for keeping those players healthy) while red peppers contain more vitamin A and beta carotene (similar to carrots). While peppers might not be a huge hit with the younger crowd, if you do decide to go this route, make sure you're choosing the yellow or red peppers for best results!
- Sugar Snap Peas. These tend to fly under the radar when it comes to post-game snacks. Snap peas are not only delicious but can be very entertaining. One of the most notable benefits of these crunchy, green peas is that they are very high in vitamin C. Yet another way to keep the flu away. Add in the reliable source of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and you are guaranteed to help your body convert food to energy more efficiently.
A great choice for teams with food sensitivities and allergies, dry Rice Krispies contain no wheat, soy, milk or nuts. Now, Rice Krispie treats are another story. In a traditional sense, due to the marshmallow and other ingredients, Rice Krispie treats are not on the healthy side. Eating a Rice Krispie treat will exceed your daily recommended amount of sugar with one serving. They will also contain the dreaded corn syrup that was discussed above. But, don't let us deter you from enjoying this timeless treat. Rice Krispie treats with peanut butter are an excellent source of protein and will leave you wanting more.
For an athlete on the go! Throw Go-Gurt in a cooler with some ice to freeze them for the perfect post-game snack on a hot day. A great source of vitamin D and calcium for kids, these tubes of yogurt are essential for building strong bones. Each box comes with two separate flavors so that your players can choose their favorite. Offered in flavors such as "strawberry splash" and "rad raspberry" these convenient, on-the-go snacks are bound to be a hit.
Granola bars come in all shapes and sizes. There are healthy options out there, and there are also options that are not so much. Before buying granola bars as a post-game snack, check out the nutritional label. Keep the sugar in check, make sure they are high in fiber, and ensure there are adequate amounts of protein. Consider granola bars such as Kind, Kashi, and Nature Valley.
Similar to that of bananas, sunflower seeds are more of a pre-game snack rather than a post-game snack. But, they can easily be used as both. Sunflower seeds and baseball go hand in hand. They are like peanut butter and jelly, pizza and pepperoni, mashed potatoes and gravy. You get the point.
Trail Mix / Chex Mix
While trail mix is packed full of heart-healthy nuts, they can be high in calories. But, since these snacks are for the active youth baseball player, trail mix is a great option. There may be some other lower-calorie snacks available, but you can never go wrong with a solid bad of trail mix (just take it easy on the M&Ms). Chex Mix, on the other hand, can be quite good for you. A high amount of salt does mean that is should not be consumed in high dosages, but one or two servings is not a cause for concern. An excellent source of fiber and iron, Chex Mix helps to maintain great digestive health and lowers cholesterol levels.
Animal crackers are no longer just a snack for toddlers. While they aren't the healthiest option on our list, they are a great alternative to other sweets such as potato chips and cookies. While there is very little in an animal cracker that is considered nutritious, they are still one of the top options for post-game snacks. With about 130 calories per ounce, animal crackers should be enjoyed in moderation.
Dairy isn't typically recommended as a healthy post game snack, but we're making cheese sticks the exception. Dairy products are a great source of both calcium and protein. In fact, cheese sticks are loaded with both of these minerals. Include other nutrients such as vitamin D, amino acids, and omega-3 fats, and you have a cancer-fighting metabolism booster.
Homemade Cookies / Energy Bites
We tried to keep this list as healthy as possible, but you can't have a post-game snack guide without the option of cookies! Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles, gingerbread, and peanut butter. Need we say more? Cookies bring joy to all (except for the ones with allergies) and are a great snack for any kid. But, if you are opposed to cookies and want to go with a healthier alternative, consider no-bake energy bites. Made up of mainly old-fashioned oats, peanut butter, and chocolate chips, energy balls are an excellent choice for those who aren't crunched for time.
Now, let's discuss the best post-game drinks for your Little League team.
Known for being a 100% juice blend for kids on the go, these pouches of punch are perfect. Capri Sun even has what is called their "Capri Sun Sport" blend which is made just for youth athletes. As Capri Sun calls it, it is liquid fuel! Great tasting, rehydrating, and super convenient. The Capri Sun pouches are a must for any post-game snack. Similar to Go-Gurt, throw them in a cooler with some ice and let them freeze ever so slightly while the game is going on. Capri Sun slushies will be a hit, guaranteed!
Who doesn't love Kool-Aid? While the average soda contains 23 grams of sugar, these Bursts offer up to 75% less sugar than the leading regular sodas. Keep in mind that this decrease in sugar does not come with a decrease in flavor. With flavors such as grape, cherry, and berry blue, Kool-Aid Bursts will be a home run with every player.
Chocolate milk has become an optimal post-exercise recovery aid. With some vitamins and minerals, chocolate milk contributes to a variety of benefits, which include:
- Replaces lost fluids to help prevent dehydration
- Provides calcium (and a small amount of sodium and sugar) to help the body retain water and regain energy
- Provides carbohydrates to help replenish tired muscles
Take all of these benefits and the fact that chocolate milk tastes amazing and you're bound to hit a home run with your post game snack.
You can't beat H20. It may never be the most popular choice, but it will always be the most practical. While it doesn't provide the same health benefits that say chocolate milk does, water will replace fluids lost through sweating and help rehydrate the body.
Sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, are the ultimate in electrolyte replacement. Electrolytes are minerals, such as sodium, calcium, and potassium, that are lost when one sweats. It is essential that these lost electrolytes be replenished as soon as possible. Now, there are pros and cons to sports drinks. While they do replenish electrolytes better than most, most are known for their high levels of sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup. And high fructose corn syrup has been linked to some negative health effects such as obesity and type two diabetes. So, if you do decide to go the sports drink route, moderation is key. Do not let your players overindulge!
What is your favorite post-game snack to provide? Do you have a home recipe that is always a huge hit? Please share with us in the comments below what you like to bring for a post-game snack. Or, if you have any baseball bat or softball bat related questions, please feel free to contact our friendly Bat Experts at 866-321-BATS (2287). They are available and will be there for you from click to hit!