12 x 4 inch, extra large, deep fried, custom designed donuts. No, I’m not drafting an incredibly hip wedding dessert spread, or describing the precise thing your cardiologist tells you not to eat once you hit 45. That’s just an honest-to-goodness example of what a parent on our son’s little league team decided to bring as a post-game snack last year.
Mamas! What the heck happened to juice boxes and a pack of goldfish crackers?
I may be a millennial at 33 years old, but I’m feeling pretty boomer-y about the youth sports snack sitch. So this year, when we signed our 3 eldest kiddos up for youth sports, I decided to bring it way back: “soccer mom in 1995” style. My husband is coaching, and I gladly took the first post-game snack assignment.
Everything seems to be a competition these days, and somehow the snack choices offered to 5-year-olds after a 45 minute game have not managed to evade this predicament. It seemed like every game, each family upped the ante. Bags stuffed to the brim with sugary treats and fried chips, sports drinks and Capri Suns. You name it, they brought it. Now, don’t get me wrong, the kids LOVED it. Heck, even I appreciated the donut lady after I swiped a bite from my kid.
What I didn’t love was the feeling that everyone was pressured to outdo the last mom. I didn’t love that the kids started to become disappointed with a normal, average, perfectly acceptable snack. Honestly, I also really didn’t love the intense sugar crash my kid would go through after a tiring sports game and then scarfing 50 grams of sugar down in 30 seconds flat.
So, cut to my first snack assignment of this year: I had a plan to get ahead of this problem and I decided to SET THE TONE.
I went to Target (obviously), and bought 8 pounds of navel oranges and a few packages of Hint Watermelon Water. I brought them home, cut the oranges into slices, and tossed those puppies into some Ziploc baggies. When I was a kid, oranges slices were the ultimate post-game snack!
I proudly toted my oranges and water-juice-hybrid boxes to the game and waited patiently for the moment I could underwhelm these kindergartners with my snack selection. The time came for me to hand out the goods, and just as I anticipated, one kid groaned and let out a dejected “UGH, just orange slices???”
I could hardly contain my satisfaction! Another kid took a Hint box and said “AND WATER BOXES?!”. I swear, at this moment, my purpose in life was complete. I knew in that moment that the tone had been set. The deed was done. Every parent thereafter was free to bring a completely ordinary snack, and the pressure was off. And I am so totally okay with being the least cool sports mom ever.