Keeping Sugar Off the Field


By Melanie R. Silverman

I am writing this on behalf of the dozens of parents in Laguna Beach that have asked for my advice about an issue involving Little League. I am referring to the snacks parents bring to practices and games.

Candy bars, cookies, sugary juices and sports drinks have become common fare and parents are concerned. Why does baseball have to be a reason to offer snacks to our kids that serve no nutritional purpose?

Kids have plenty of sugar opportunities off the field. High quality snacks should be served on the field. If you are a parent involved in Little League this year or any other sporting event where parents are assigned to bring snacks, I urge you to encourage teams to set a policy that snacks offered to our kids at sporting events are healthy. Parents can provide easy to grab fruit such as apples, quartered oranges and grapes or sliced vegetable trays with carrots, celery, cucumbers and dip. Assorted wholewheat crackers, string cheese and nuts also work. And ask each kid to bring their own water bottle from home.

The vast majority of Little League players do not need electrolyte replacement drinks or fancy bottled waters. Save the sugar for birthday parties where it belongs and let’s show our kids the proper way to fuel themselves after a hard game or practice.

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  1. Thank you for this! I agree whole heartedly! I am a bit mystified by the whole “snack phenomenon” in general. If a game is at 2pm and ends at 3pm, I understand the need for a snack, but what if its at 11, ending at noon. Why do we need a snack here, right before a meal time. Shouldn’t kids be getting their calories from healthy meals, not snacks through out the day? An orange slice and water is plenty for a quick boost of energy at a game.


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