Not my boys, boys- I promise

It’s a little tricky when you’re a mom and a nutritionist. Sadly, I tend to keep my mouth shut when out of the office (when it comes to food-related matters, mouth rarely shuts in general). I say “sadly” because so much of what kids eat at school and after school is pretty crappy. And if that “kids are kids” argument popped into your head, I will say that this “kids are kids” thinking has resulted in a crap overload. And ironically after parenting for 13 and a half years, I can say no where is this junk-a-thon more prevalent that in children’s sports.
* 13 year old asked “what am I getting for my half birthday” I said “nothing” and he sulked.

I shouldn’t single these out but I will

So, after years of appalling food and sports incidents: one coach felt a pile of candy bars at halftime was a good idea, cookies when games end at noon (how about lunch or a pizza perhaps) or the millions of munchkins my boys have been presented with, I received this from my son’s new coach
“I’m thinking of doing away with the snack schedule, each family can bring a snack and water for their own child.” I don’t dance but mentally the happy dance was happening. I posted this on Facebook and one commenter (of I think 25) said “what did your son think?” The truth is he didn’t mention it and we went to lunch following the game. My son was psyched that the team did well which tends to be his area of focus. I will take competitiveness over sugar and not to worry my kids have sugar and burgers and fries.

But you see I have two children. The following week the typical email from a parent showed up in my inbox,  “I’m setting up the team snack schedule, please let me know…” In years’ past I would’ve obligingly picked a date and use it as an opportunity to bring something like this


And before you label me as “that mom” I will tell you that these are generally devoured. My theory is that kids almost roll their eyes at the cookie (that isn’t usually a great cookie) or above donuts.
This year, encouraged by the other coach, I said “just throwing it out there but on another team the coach felt snacks weren’t necessary, any thoughts?” I received a civil reply that said “I think snacks are something the kids like BUT I will poll the group and get back to you.” I wasn’t optimistic but waited. In the interim I posted the incident on Facebook. Many parents were worried about being the “mean mom” or “getting dirty looks” if suggesting healthy snacks or snacklessness. But guess what? The snack scheduler emailed “I didn’t hear back from any parents so I’m going to scratch the snack schedule, everyone can bring their own.”

The moral of this snack story is, voice your opinion to a league or coach or fellow parent. You’d be surprised that many parents are either happy their children aren’t having constant crap OR relieved not to have to run out on a Saturday to get snacks for an entire team, “one more thing to think about” one mom said. Wherever you stand on nutrition, getting to the right field at the right time with your child and water should be enough.
Do you recall sports snacks growing up? Do you think I’m being a “mean mom”? I mean I am a mean mom but let’s focus on snacks…


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