Snack-Hating Soccer Mom
It has already started: the dreaded snack emails. Am I the only mother that detests being mandated to supply junk food to my child after he finally burns a few calories?
Another typical kid coming off the soccer field…
“Oh, but the kids just love it!” I hear. They would love having ice cream for dinner, too, so why stop there?
“Oh, a little treat isn’t going to hurt them!” Is another point of view. If only it were that ONE treat we had to deal with. Now you are encouraged to bring enough treats for siblings too. We have four kids and have an average of 4-6 games a weekend! On one special occasion, after consuming an untold number of fruity snacks, my son thought something was really wrong when his bathroom deposit was blue. Egads! How about hardening of the liver due to over consumption of high fructose corn syrup?
Treats have become the standard American reward system. Treats for good grades, treats for nice manners, treats for going potty on the toilet…do we really need to continue this illogical tradition of rewarding physical activity with calories? Do you treat yourself to a juice box and bag of chips after breaking a sweat?
So, to all you snack-list-making-moms out there, I give you five good reasons we need to stop the soccer snack madness:
1. They are eating more calories that they burn
How many calories do you think my five-year-old burns playing soccer? Taking into account actual playing time, intensity, and weight…about 80. (Check out this site) Yes, less than a low sugar granola bar. So, the argument that we are replenishing our children’s used glucose stores isn’t very compelling. Add a Capri Sun or Gatorade, and you have a potential weight gain scenario. While your child may not have a weight issue, it is an epidemic in America. Childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years and has no sign of slowing down.
2. It engrains a “Pavlovian” response
This has already happened in our house. When I asked my son today how his soccer game went, his FIRST response was, “Bad. They forgot to bring snacks.” I am not making this up! Do you think, as a man, he’ll have an unidentifiable urge to eat goldfish after running on the treadmill? He might already be ruined. Perhaps I’ll send him to behavior therapy to disconnect the sweat-gut connection.
3. It is unhealthy
Here are the top snacks I see around the fields: fruit roll-ups, cookies, doughnuts, goldfish, granola bars, and graham crackers. And that doesn’t even take into account the sugary drinks. There may be the occasional mom who cuts oranges and organic apples, but more often than not the snacks are JUNK! They are highly processed and full of chemicals, sugar, HFCS, and trans fats. Rather than requiring the snacks be healthy, JUST DON’T HAVE SNACKS! The kids will survive that 20-minute drive home.
4. It can be unsafe with increasing food allergies
With the ever-increasing issue of childhood food allergies, we have to be very careful what we put out there. Nuts, wheat, and dairy are in almost everything. No mother wants a child to feel left out, but more importantly, no one wants an accidental allergic reaction from handing out Oreos. Especially when the kids come at you, like a pack of wild hyenas, grabbing bags of Scooby Snacks like it was their final meal before Judgment Day. One unintentional Nutter Butter munch and a kid could be sent to the Emergency Room.
5. Remembering to pick up snacks is a pain in the arse
What more is there to say? Please, spare me another item on my “to do” list. I can hardly remember to pick up milk, let alone 4 boxes of Juicy Juice….