Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Snack Time is Essential to the Team Experience

Say YES to Snacks | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Teams, coaches and families
need snack time.
Sorry, Nicole, but I completely disagree with what I interpret as a cop out regarding post-practice and post-game snack time. Hubby and I raised three boys, all of whom played organized sports. Snack time was an essential part of the experience. And here's why:

1. The children like to be involved in planning, selecting and distributing snacks for their teammates. It provides lessons on selflessness, generosity and servitude.

2. Snack time after practice or a game provides socialization among teammates as well as siblings, parents, grandparents, coaches and everyone involved with the team. The teams on which my children played were like extended family. We spent lots of time in gyms and on ball fields with these folks.

3. For the siblings especially, snack time offers a chance for them to feel like part of their brother or sister's team. When they feel like part of the team, they are more likely to enjoy going to practices and games as well as cheering on their siblings and the rest of the team. 

4. While the children are snacking, the coaches can review, announce and praise among a captive audience.
Snack time gives coaches speech
time and builds camaraderie.

5. Snack time creates opportunities for parents to model healthy food and beverage choices. 

Parents who feel like it is too soon for their children to eat again can take the snack to go. Parents who feel a particular snack is unhealthy can provide an alternative and use the situation as a teachable moment for their family. Parents of children with food allergies can provide the other parents with allergy information so accommodations can be made. But to simply say no to an integral part of the team experience seems awfully selfish and counterproductive.

I will always cherish memories of my dirty, big, strong athletes tossing snacks to their fellow teammates after a game as well as reaching down to hand a cold drink and snack to the younger siblings of their teammates who enthusiastically cheered for them from the sidelines. I truly believe team snack time had just as much to do with the amazing young adults my boys became as did participating on the teams. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at)
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