Monday, May 27, 2013

No Team Snack Drama

Why is it that when we become parents we become naturally more competitive?  My child learned to walk before yours, my son is reading three grade levels ahead of his age ... blah blah blah

I'd like to think that team sports, at least during the younger years, would be somewhat drama free territory.  Yeah right!  I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine during soccer season last year regarding snack expectations of other parents on their team.  You might think that they were expecting healthy organic options, but no that wasn't it.  The parents on the team weren't as much concerned about the nutritional value of the team snacks as they were the presentation of it.  See, the first two parents started the precedent of elaborately decorated goodie style bags, complete with toys and favors for team snacks.  We have come a long way from orange slices in a bucket, but do we have to go all of the way to elaborate gifts for snack time?  

My friend was explaining her dilemma of not being able to find just that right color of gift bag to use for snacks.  She had found some great ribbon, a fun (yet notably junkie) toy but needed a team color bag so she could decorate it with some stickers and have ready in time for the game.  Naturally, loving to help like I do, I started hunting for the gift bags for her.  Eventually between the two of us we found enough for every player on the team.  Whew!!  Train wreck avoided...or was it?

We were on a hunt because the parents expected it - the kids had gotten used to it.  But the kids just wanted a snack, plain and simple.

Here are some handy tips to help avoid snack drama and keeping it simple.

1) Bring some simple snack items to practices before snacks are expected and assignments for the season begin.  Keeping it casual at the start will help set the tone for the season.  

2) Once the season begins, assign yourself to the first snack duty for the team to set an example of what is good to bring.  Keep it casual, parents will follow your lead.

3) If you have a team website post examples of snacks that are good items to bring.  Be careful not to turn these examples into rules - nobody wants to be told exactly what to do.

4) Reserve special treats or toylike items for holidays during the season or a player's birthday. 

Setting an example for your team can go much further than you can imagine.  Doing so will help set expectations and keep your snacks on the drama free end of the spectrum.

Have you been caught in snack team drama?  Personalized cookies, over the top presentation?  Are you for or against - sound off below in the comments.  

Happy snacking! 

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