Quick and Healthy Game Day Snacks

dried fruit

(Healthcastle.com) If you or your little one plays sports, you know the days can be long. The healthy choices at the park or event are usually pretty slim. If you are there week after week pushing your body, you’re going to want something that both feeds the hunger and nourishes your body to perform at its best. Here are some of my favourite ideas for game day snacks that you can feel good about.

Grab N’ Go

  • Fruit! High potassium choices like oranges, bananas, kiwi, mango and cantaloupe or honeydew melon also help replenish potassium lost through sweat without resorting to a sports drink.
  • Hummus and crackers can be found pre-packaged individually if you know time is limited (Costco among other places stocks them). Grab a couple carrots or bag of snap peas out of the fridge and you’ve got a pretty balanced snack with protein and fibre to keep you going all day long.
  • Healthy Granola Bars – look for at least 2 grams of fibre, 3 or more grams of protein and a clean ingredient list with whole foods (think nuts, dried fruit and grains). The really low calorie granola bars tend to have more “filler” so I usually look for something at 150 or 200 calories to allow room for healthy ingredients like nuts. Avoid any with artificial colours or flavours.
  • Individual yogurt cups. Yogurt is naturally fairly balanced with both protein and carbohydrates and has the added bonus of being pretty easy to throw back when time is crunched. It can also be used to dip chunks of fruit in to for something a little more interesting! Like with granola bars above look for a nice recognizable ingredient list without artificial colours or flavours.
  • Trail mix of just nuts and dried fruit is an incredibly nourishing game day snack and is also easy to eat and carry around. It’s great for those who like to pick at little bits of food throughout the day. Make it yourself ahead of time to the tune of 1 part nuts to 2 parts dried fruit or grab a pre-mixed version as long as it doesn’t have much added sugar.

Minimal Prep

  • Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich 2 ways: For a heartier snack or mini meal a banana and peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread is a fabulous choice. Fibre, protein and potassium all help fuel an athlete through a long day. If you want something lighter or suitable for a small eater, simply slicing a banana in half lengthwise and spreading some peanut butter in between is a quick and tasty option.
  • Fruit Smoothies are a portable way to slip in extra fluid and replenish the nutritional stores. Try fresh or frozen fruit blended with milk (or milk alternative), a bit of yogurt and ground flax or nut butter for a well-rounded snack that will keep energy levels steady. Throw it in a leak-proof travel cup and you’re good to go!
  • Cheese chunks and grapes are always popular and so simple. And a long hot game day is one of those times when a little extra salt can be a good thing. Simply cut cheese in to chunks, throw in some well dried grapes and seal up a Ziploc or reusable container. The natural carbohydrates in the grapes keep energy up and the protein in the cheese helps stabilize blood sugar and avoid a crash. It’s also tasty enough to keep you away from the concession.

Practical Tips

  • A mini cooler is your best friend; it allows you to bring a wider variety of food and drinks because you’re not worried about it going bad and keeps fluids cold so you’re more likely to drink them.
  • Freeze a couple of water bottles to throw in the cooler instead of an ice pack to save on space.
  • Prep what you can the night before, particularly if you’ll be there the whole day and need a lunch.

What are your tried and true game day solutions? Share with us in the comments below!

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