Courtesy: Elizabeth Wickham
Snack bars can be more than hamburgers and cup of noodles. Some teams stick with the basics while others offer more creative menus. Many of us pack healthy snacks for our kids. After all, we want to make sure they are eating the right foods at a meet, and we don’t know what will be available at the snack bar. But, also remember the snack bar is a revenue center for the hosting team. I’d always wonder why a team would come to a meet and bring all their own food and drinks for their team without spending a dime at the snack bar. We can always bring healthy snacks, but also check out the snack bar to offer support.
Our team has a reputation for amazing snack bars. We were fortunate for a few years to have incredibly talented parents in charge of the snack bar. Seriously talented, like a French chef from the Ritz Carlton and his wife. They made homemade soups and crepes for the swim families and grilled lobster tails for the coaches. (We were also lucky to have a coach and swimmer who dove for fresh lobster, too.)
Another time, the parent in charge of the snack bar made the arduous task of pre-meet shopping more fun. She divided up the shopping list, formed teams, and parents competed to finish their list first. Those were some fun and fast trips to Costco and Sam’s Club!
Here are 9 items for snack bars. Some are ordinary, but good and healthy, while a few are more unusual:
Breakfast burritos. When done well, they’re so delicious. A favorite with the parents.
Spam musubi. An easy to eat treat from Hawaii, these are healthy snacks for swimmers.
Teriyaki bowls. With chicken, rice and veggies, the teriyaki bowl is a delicious meal for during or after a meet.
Fresh fruit bowls. Melons, grapes, strawberries and oranges are refreshing and colorful. Add a yogurt and you’ve got a parfait.
Veggies with hummus or other healthy dips are perfect to snack on during a meet.
Pasta salad. We’d all be assigned to bring a bag of cooked pasta, chopped veggies, etc. and tossed it all in together with Italian dressing.
One year we offered sliced apples with a drizzle of warm caramel sauce and whipped cream. The kids went wild for it.
Home-made healthy protein bars. There are lots of recipes for healthy bars that are easy to make and delicious. Make sure to label any items with nuts for those with allergies.
Chocolate milk. So many swimmers love chocolate milk to refuel after their swims.
What are your favorite foods at a snack bar? What are the most unusual items you’ve seen?
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.