a peek inside the fishbowl

18 Aug, 2008

snack annoyance

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Yaktivism

Emma played organized soccer between the ages of five and eight. Sarah played a bit when she was four, and every year since. She’s playing again this summer. We’ve become pros at the soccer routine.

Soccer night is divided into (a) practice and then (b) a game against another team. It adds up to 90 minutes worth of running around. At this age it’s fairly non-competitive. They don’t keep score, for starters. There are some kids that are starting to take it seriously, but there is also a whole pack of other kids who just stare at the clouds and pick flowers in the grass. After the game all the kids get a snack, which the parents all take turns bringing. Tomorrow is the last practice, and it’s our turn.

Part of me feels like a scrooge even admitting this here (because I know there are a million or two moms who will disagree and think that I’m just being a total spoil sport) but I think our kids are oversnacked as it is and they really don’t need ANOTHER opportunity to snack after a measly hour-and-a-half of physical activity. What kind of message is this sending? That every time they exert themselves they deserve a snack as a reward?

“Here kids, you must be SO TIRED after all of your HARD WORK. Here’s a couple of pre-packaged rice krispy squares, a Freezie and a juice box!” Nevermind the little boy I saw drinking a bottle of Gatorade during practice. HELLO! YOU ARE NOT RUNNING A MARATHON. WATER WILL DO JUST FINE.

Why can’t the snack be up to the individual parents? If parents want to let their eats consume sugar and empty calories before they go to bed, fine. But I’d rather just give my kid a banana. If that.

I hate how we are pressured to participate in the snacking game. I know, we can just say no, and I have. The girls have brought back packaged fruit drinks which I have asked them to save for the next day. They don’t seem to mind, but most of the time I just let them have it because I don’t want to look like “the mean mom.” 

One week’s snack consisted of watermelon and ice cream sandwiches. It was actually co-ordinated by one of my neighbors, a good friend of ours.  The ice cream was a special treat for Sarah and she was excited about it.

All the kids were reaching into the cooler and grabbing ice cream sandwiches. One child came back twice, and again for a third ice cream sandwich. My friend asked her if she’d had two already. The kid said yes. My friend asked the kid if her mom said it was okay. The kid said yes. My friend hesitatingly let the kid take a third ice cream sandwich and we watched to see if the kid’s mother saw the transaction. She did – she was talking to someone else at the time – and she nodded her approval.

I feel slightly ill thinking that kid ate THREE ice cream sandwiches in a row. I mean, come on. Wasn’t one enough?

Now it’s our turn to bring the snack. I fear that if we bring orange slices and fig newtons there’s going to be a few kids (and parents?) who think it isn’t enough, or that it isn’t good enough. It’s rather disheartening, don’t you think? 

18 Responses to "snack annoyance"

1 | A.

August 18th, 2008 at 1:18 pm


I feel your pain. We brought grapes our week to provide soccer snack – all kids ate them and the container was completely empty when done. One week someone brought watermelon.

EVERYONE else brought either popsicles or freezies or cupcakes DESPITE the fact that my dh (the coach) send out a list of healthy snacks (fruit, specific types of granola bars, dried fruit, etc…).

I find it so frustrating, especially the fact that I feel guilty letting my child have the junk when we try to limit that.

2 | J.

August 18th, 2008 at 2:23 pm


Three ice cream sandwiches! I feel awful if I have one!
I can only suggest to play the game… what about yogurt popsicles, or sand cups.. I know that might be a bit more work.. it could be worth it.


3 | porter

August 18th, 2008 at 3:14 pm


I usually don’t mind if the kids have snacks or ‘treats’ because I know that they eat well most of the time. That said, I find that the opportunity for junk is becoming more and more frequent and I can see how my feelings might change down the road.

4 | The Veg Next Door

August 18th, 2008 at 3:31 pm


I think the orange slices and Fig Newtons are an excellent snack. You should bring them. I’m sure you’re not the only parent feeling this way and maybe you’d be paving the path for healthy snacks.

As for Gatorade and the likes. Agh! My head spins when I see kids drinking that stuff. They’re now offering it at b-day parties. I won’t let The Pea drink that stuff and I ask for water. It’s a lot of stuff for their little bodies. They can actually get sick. I don’t want to be one of those moms but I also don’t want the alternative for my child.

5 | Jenn

August 18th, 2008 at 4:11 pm


A few weeks ago, while watching my son’s soccer game, a sibling of one of the kids ran once around the tennis courts and told her mom she tought she desreved two large Ice Caps for her reward. I tried not to be judgmental but what 8 year old kid needs an Ice Cap? This happened to be our turn for snacks and another kid had also for some reason brought snacks. Both of us had brought fruit (no juices or sugary snacks) and the kids ate all of it. The club has also commented to coaches about garbage being left behind from juices and snack packages.
I will admit that for my daughters team who finished earlier in the summer, I made cupcakes for the team and thier siblings the last day. It was an friday afternoon activity to do with my daughter and I boxed up each one and sealed it with a soccer sticker so Mom and Dad could decide when the best time to have it. We also toyed with the idea of making fruit kabobs.

6 | The Veg Next Door

August 18th, 2008 at 4:46 pm


Jenn, I love the idea of homemade cupcakes and sealing them. I think with peanut and various other kinds of allergies we’ve gotten away from making food from scratch and we end up feeing our kids crap just b/c it’s nut, gluten and whatever free. Simple is always better.

7 | Chantal

August 18th, 2008 at 5:04 pm


I hear you. I usually bring fruit or frozen fruit bars.

What drives me BATTY is that we’re now expected to bring enough for the players siblings too? I was beyond miffed, so the next time, I brought enough for just the players on my daughter’s team. When it’s not our turn I make sure my kids know that only the playing sibling gets a “treat” that night. You certainly don’t deserve a treat having sat and watched all night!

8 | Miss Vicky

August 18th, 2008 at 7:37 pm


To cupcake makers: there are plenty of allergy-friendly cupcake recipes. But frankly, I think orange slices are just fine. Fig newtons: even better

9 | andrea

August 18th, 2008 at 8:20 pm


I don’t mind homemade cupcakes. I welcome all homemade backed goods. :) Nor do I mind the sibling issue. A lot of the kinds of foods folks bring can easily feed a few extra mouths i.e. sliced melon/fruit. When we bring snack (and others do this as well) it’s customary to make sure everyone on the team has had something to eat first. Leftovers go to the siblings. That being said, I certainly don’t factor in the siblings when I buy stuff. If there’s extra, there’s extra. If there isn’t? Tough luck.

10 | Melissa

August 18th, 2008 at 10:44 pm


Oranges were the biggest hit in terms of snacks at Sam’s soccer this summer.

11 | Chantal

August 19th, 2008 at 9:04 am


When it was my turn to bring snack to D’s ball practice (even less running than soccor so do they really need a snack…) I brought orange slices and honestly they all LOVED them. Healthy is good!

12 | Laura

August 19th, 2008 at 10:34 am


This was the first year on my son’s soccer and baseball teams that there are no snacks after the practice / game. It has just been left up to the parents. I can honestly say no one misses the snacks.

13 | Jennifer

August 19th, 2008 at 10:49 am


Personally it drives me crazy when I pick my daughter up from an after school activity and hear that she has had a snack of Kool-aid and cookies. Please bring the healthy oranges and fig newtons and remind yourself that you are doing your part to fight the childhood obesity epidemic.

14 | Scattered Mom

August 19th, 2008 at 5:59 pm


I think fruit is by far the best option, because then kids who have allergies can eat it (mostly). I’d be thrilled if someone just provided water and oranges!

Jake is lactose intolerant and can’t eat a lot of stuff anyway.

15 | Sara

August 19th, 2008 at 9:38 pm


Hi — I’m a longtime US lurker, and just have to comment on the snacks.

It’s just too much. My son played T-ball this summer from 5.320-6.30 pm, and we were all expected to bring snacks. Why????? If the kids hadn’t just come from an early meal, they were going to be off to a later one right after the activity. Why bring snacks and either fill up an already full child with a snack (because you must be hungry a mere hour and a half after you ate) or let the child fill up on junk food before supper?


16 | Rosie : )

August 20th, 2008 at 7:37 am


Our kids are not in organized sports. They get so much running around and competitiveness just by playing outside together. There is also the cost and time factor for us. {We have 7 kids}

That being said, I have to admit that my kids also don’t eat a bedtime snack, nor do they have anything once supper is done.

If they were to play in soccer {or whichever sport}, I don’t think I would permit them to chow down either. Yes, I guess I am that mean Mom. Driking water is good, and it should suffice for activities.

I remember when I was a kid and I ran in the local and provincial competitions ~ I drank water. My parents never fed me sugary snacks nor drinks. It’s just not necessary. :)

For your turn, a big drinking cooler with ice water could be good? Although, some parents might think you are being “cheap”. Sigh. No-win situation. You might have to cave and bring food too. :(

I wish you luck with your snack dilema!

17 | Claire

August 26th, 2008 at 5:48 pm


My kids are in the Westboro summer soccer league too – and I completely agree with you…

18 | Know More Do More Mondays: Junk food and snacking >> a peek inside the fishbowl

May 3rd, 2010 at 10:33 am


[…] I’ve written about my issues with snacks before, but when Emma was five I learned the best lesson about snacks EVER. And I wanted to share it with you. […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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