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Nutritious Snacks for Team Sports

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When you bring snacks for your team, remember the following:

  • Bring enough for the whole team
  • Check with the parents and kids for any food allergies
  • Make sure to pack perishable foods in a cooler box or insulated bag with ice packs
  • Rinse all fresh fruit, including melons on the outside before cutting them

Team Snack Tips for Primary School Sports:

Most games for younger kids will last for less than an hour and most kids will go home afterwards to eat. Don’t bring bags full of sweets, chocolates, chips, crisps or processed foods. This will spoil a child’s appetite for nutritious snacks and meal afterwards. Processed high fat and high sugar foods also causes “melt-downs” and “blood sugar crash” events.

Fruit is a great solution for young and old teams: It is refreshing, full of fluid and carbohydrates and usually safe for kids with allergies. And many kids don’t eat enough fruit so in this way kids get in a nutritious snack required for appropriate growth and development.

Choose for Your Young Team:

  • Bananas
  • Watermelon, melon, spanspek slices
  • Apples
  • Naartjies and sliced oranges
  • Peaches or nectarines
  • Pears and plums
  • Fruit sosaties with grapes, strawberries and melon
  • Mini sachets of raisins or dried cranberries
  • Small box 100% juice
  • Small cups of grapes or melon balls or pineapple wedges
  • Popcorn or pretzels

To Drink for Younger Kids:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that only water is served to children that do light activity for less than an hour.

Team Snack Tips for Older Kids Doing Vigorous School Sports

When active kids get older, school sports get more competitive and sports tend to be more intense. At this age their appetites are also increasing and their bodies’ demand to growth and develop is higher. Fruit is still a great idea but usually these athletes require more substantial fuel.

Choose for Your More Active Team:

  • A bag of bananas, a bag of naartjies or a Tupperware full of orange slices or watermelon pieces or pineapple wedges.
  • Sandwiches with peanut butter and honey or marmite and cheese or toasted cheese
  • Home-made trail mix: Mix granola/ cereal with dried fruit, chocolate chips and seeds/nuts
  • Yoghurt tubs and yogurt pouches
  • Granola bars or high energy bars or protein bars
  • Whole grain crackers with cheese and hummus
  • Bags of popcorn
  • Banana or date loaf

To Drink for Active Kids:

Usually moderate to vigorous activity that lasts for more than 60min require a drink that supplies electrolytes as well as carbohydrates and calories. Sports drinks should not be over-used but there is a place for them in this group of athletes.

  • Choose water first: Have a water dispenser or 500ml water available to each player
  • Thereafter, consider a sports drink that supplies sodium, potassium, carbohdrates and calories. For example Rehidrate Sport (lemon & lime or naartjies flavour) or 32GI Endure sustained energy sports drink (Blueberry, orange, raspberry, peach flavour) or High Five Sports Nutrition energy drink.

Try This Recipe Out for Your Team:  

To Make ±2L of Home-made Sports Drink


  • 125ml hot water
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 15 tsp (±1/3 cup) sugar 
  • 125ml lemon juice 
  • 250ml 100% juice (apple/ grape/ litchi for flavour)
  • 1,5L bottled or filtered tap water

In a big 3L container, add the table salt and sugar to the hot water and stir until dissolved. Add the juice, lemon juice and cold water.  Mix well. 

Nutrition information per 500ml:  88kcal (300kJ), 22g Carbohydrates, ±250mg Sodium, ±55mg Potassium. 

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