And if you choose to do the right thing and not just give them some unhealthy snack from the grocery store, you know well enough that healthy, nutrient-packed snacks won’t make themselves. You’ll need to put some effort into making them if you want the rewarding result of a healthy, happy team.
In this article, we’re showing you some quick and easy soccer team snack ideas that’ll provide the whole team with the most energy and the best experience possible, so get inspired!
The Importance of Snacks for Soccer Players
Snack time is a big part of the soccer experience. Snacks can be used to motivate young players and help them achieve their full potential on the field. Snacks can also bring players together and strengthen our teams’ sense of belonging.
Unlike the belief that snacking is not good for sports, snacks can really be beneficial to soccer players, as long as junk food is avoided. Athletes are hungry and need to eat every three to four hours at the absolute least.
That means that if you eat breakfast at 7:00 a.m., you’ll be hungry by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., especially if you exercise in the morning. By 3 p.m., you’ll be hankering for more food.
Having a little snack before your game that has some protein and is higher in carbohydrate and lowers in fat will help players perform better during a long game and recover faster.
Drinking water during the game will help restore any lost hydration in their bodies to keep going, and refueling with a source of carbohydrate and protein within 60 minutes of finishing their game will help them recover faster.
Our snack selections should prioritize fueling and hydrating the players. This means trying our best to swap artificially colored and sugary foods for healthier alternatives.
Players’ needs for certain types of food differ depending on when they eat in relation to the game, as you can see below.
|Before the game||Fuel and hydrate the players||Protein-packed snacks like hard-boiled eggs with water|
|Half time||Hydration||Water with any fresh fruit like watermelon|
|After the game||Rewarding||Any type of healthy snacks the players like!|
Soccer Team Snack Ideas
Despite the fact that there are millions of packaged snacks on store shelves, the majority of them are rich in sugar and fat and lack the most important nutrients.
Yes, soccer snacks should be simple, quick, and convenient, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some healthier snacks into your season.
- Raw veggies: cucumbers, carrots, snap peas, peppers, etc.
- Fresh fruits: apples, pears, oranges, grapes, cherries, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.
- Vegetables with ranch dip: cut your favorite veggies into sticks or cups and serve them with ranch dip.
- Fruits with yogurt: serve yogurt with whatever type of fruit you want (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples are some ideas).
- Homemade trail mix in individual bags: a mix of raisins, granola, almonds,nuts, and dried fruit.
- Fruit skewers: slide strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, grapes, pineapples, apples, mangoes, or any fruit of your choice down wooden skewers.
- Waffle skewers: cut waffles into small pieces, thread the waffle pieces, grapes, banana slices, strawberries, and peanut butter on wooden skewers or pretzel sticks.
- Healthy muffins: blueberry oatmeal muffins, strawberry-banana quinoa muffins, whole wheat carrot muffins, or pineapple coconut muffins.
- Sandwiches: egg salad sandwich, egg and cheese sandwich, egg and avocado sandwich, turkey sandwich,tuna sandwich, grilled cheese, grilled chicken sandwich, taco salad sandwich, peanut butter and jam sandwich, peanut butter and banana sandwich, or chocolate-strawberry graham sandwich.
- Wraps: chicken shawarma, pressed BBQ chicken wraps, chicken lettuce wraps, buffalo chicken lettuce wraps, turkey lettuce wraps, burrito wraps, avocado, mozzarella and pesto wraps, feta, harissa and hummus wraps, avocado, cucumber and feta wraps, spinach and feta wraps, smashed chickpea with vegetables and tahini wraps.
- Sugar-free fruit juices boxes: orange juice, grape juice, mango juice, or strawberry juice.
- Slice of whole grain toast and mashed avocado on top
- Pretzels and string cheese
- Hard-boiled egg with whole grain crackers
- Honey-roasted peanuts, cashews or almonds
- Dark chocolate covered with nuts or raisins
- Layered fruit cups
- Milk of all types
- Isotonic sports drinks
- Pumpkin seeds
- Low-salt crackers
- Frozen yogurt tubes
- Fruit smoothies
- Rice cakes
- Granola bars
- Air fried potato or sweet potato chips
Tips when Making Soccer Team Snacks
There are a few basic things you should keep in mind when preparing delicious snacks for your kids and their teammates:
- Make extras if possible. Your kid’s teammates can sometimes have younger brothers or sisters who’d be happy to eat a snack as well. Although this is not an obligation, it’s a thoughtful gesture to prepare a few extra snacks just in case.
- Don’t go overboard. Keep it simple and nutritious without overfeeding them.
- Keep food allergies in mind. Gluten, nuts, and dairy can prevent a team member from receiving his or her snack. So make sure there are no allergies to what you bring by checking with the coach or parents, or you can make special snacks for kids that are alergic.
- As needed, provide plastic wear, napkins, plates, and garbage bags. If the washroom facilities are inadequate or located far from the playing field, sanitary wipes are also a good option.
Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.