Snacks play a big role in our childhood. Almost every celebration includes some sort of candy or cookie.
A new study found that children participating in sports activities such as soccer, football, baseball, and softball often eat more calories in postgame snacks than what they burn during the game. Since most children burn about 170 calories per game, and the average snack has at least 213 calories, obesity rates are increasing.
The Science Behind Nibbles
For a recent study, researchers of Brigham Young University observed the postgame snacking habits of 3rd and 4th-grade soccer, football, baseball, and softball players throughout 189 games. They tracked the physical activity of players as well as the caloric intake of postgame snacks.
What they found was that while kids burned an average of 170 calories per game, their snacks averaged 213 calories. And almost 90 percent of those postgame snacks contained added sugar, amounting to an average 26.4 grams of sugar per serving.
“According to this study, children averaged just 27 minutes of activity per game, with some sports like softball being even less than that,” said pediatrician Jay Lovenheim of.
“Most kids in regular sports activities do not need a postgame snack,” she explained.
So, unless your children are playing high-intensity sports for several hours, those postgame snacks are more for tradition than a need.
Upgrading Your Snack Game
According to Jay Lovenheim, what children need when playing sports, or after, is hydration. So, we will share with you a few ideas to upgrade the cookies and juice snack game.
Fresh Fruit: Cut-up oranges, apples, grapes, or watermelon wedges are perfect snacks after a game.
Granola: Organic granola is a great source of carbs and nutrients, and is better for children than just sugary cookies.
Water: Simple, cold water is perfect for hydration and keeping your children fresh. Make sure to offer them water first before any juice or energy drink.
Yogurt: Frozen yogurt can be a great choice when it comes to having a sweet, protein-packed treat. Especially if you top it with fruits.
Remember, when it comes to supporting your child’s nutrition all efforts are worth it.
What is your children’s favorite healthy snack?
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