I have been a football mom for seven years going on eight, so I’ve learned a lot about how to help my sons succeed in football. One major contribution I can do as their mom is to help my boys eat healthy so they have the energy for football practice and games. Plus, feeding my boys protein and healthy foods wards off the hangry meltdown (very important for growing boys) resulting in a better experience and performance. A win-win! Read my Football Mom Ideas: Healthy Snacks for High School Football Players to best help prepare your son for a rigorous practice or game. Over 80 ideas!
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These snack and meal ideas are great for long summer practices, before or after the practices after school once the school year starts, or on the bus to an away game. Preparing your youth for youth football with top nutrition is key to their success.
Good hydration on and off the field is also key.
Yay! Fall means football!
Football Mom Ideas: Healthy Snacks for High School Football Players
Snacks for Before/After Practice or Sides for Lunches During Summer Practice
High school football players have very long days of practice in August. It’s basically like a regular school day so they need a healthy, and big, lunch and lots of water. The practices are rather intense and the boys need to be nourished to sustain themselves through practice.
Here are some ideas I use to help my son have energy and to feel full. Protein is a key component as are carbs, fruits, and veggies. And lots of them. Pack more than you think they will need for just in case they are extra hungry.
List of Ideas:
- hard-boiled eggs that are pre-peeled
- beef jerky
- string cheese
- cheese sticks or slices of hard cheese
- ham and cheese slices rolled together and secured with a toothpick
- turkey or ham and cream cheese slices rolled around a quarter of a cucumber (peel it and slice it the long way in fourths)
- watermelon and mozzarella cheese chunk skewers (roll in a napkin to absorb extra juice from watermelon)
- salami and cheese chunks on a wooden skewer
- organic carrots and ranch dressing
- grapes/walnuts/cheese chunks salad plus include a vanilla yogurt cup so it can be poured over the salad and stirred
- prepared granola bars or Healthy Chewy Homemade Carrot Banana Granola Bars
- yogurt cups
- protein bars or shakes
- yogurt drinks
- any whole pieces of fruit like apples, peaches, bananas, oranges
- tortilla chips and salsa
- celery sticks with peanut butter (or other nut butter) for dipping
- a small bag of popcorn
- grape or cherry tomatoes
Keep it all cold in a freezable lunch box.
PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Black
Lunch or Dinner on the Bus Entree Ideas
If your football player will be at practice all day long or riding a bus to a game, pack an entree to make they are nourished and he (or she) gets a healthy, protein and nutrient-packed snack or meal for before or immediately after the game/practice. These food ideas are also great for busy football moms:) who are running kids to practice and zooming on high speed to get to the football games! It’s a challenge to even feed the busy football mom too!
- any leftover meat from the previous night’s dinner (or pasta if your child will eat it cold–mine does)
- focaccia bread chunks with red sauce either spaghetti or marinara to dip in
- cold tortellini with marinara sauce for dipping
- classic PB&J: peanut butter and jelly tortilla roll
- little cheese and cucumber sandwiches where the cheese is the filling and the cucumber slices act as the bread of the sandwich, add in salami circles or other meat for extra protein
- Mexican roll-up: spread a layer of guacamole, salsa, then sprinkle with shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese and cooked chicken pieces prior to rolling up, secure by wrapping in foil (makes it easy to eat as they can peel the foil down as they eat it), add black beans or chickpeas for even more protein
- Pickle roll: spread cream cheese on a tortilla, add slices of cheese and ham or turkey and lay several small pickles or one large one down the center and roll (secure with a toothpick or foil)
- any kind of sandwich with protein (cheese, meat)
- Tortilla roll with cocoa hazelnut spread and strawberries (adding walnut pieces is yummy too)
- Salad roll: roll a tortilla with lettuce, turkey pieces, pieces of walnut or sunflower seeds, any veggie diced and ranch dressing for the filling
- cold leftover pizza slices
- spread hummus on a tortilla and sprinkle with cheese and ham chunks and carrot shreds
- Bagel sandwiches with meat and cheese slices
- Pizza bagel sandwich with pizza sauce and slices of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni (the mini pepperoni pieces work great, sprinkle them over the sauce to help keep them in place and top with cheese slices)
- Egg and bagel sandwich: hard-boiled egg slices on flavored cream cheese on an everything bagel
- Peanut Butter and Cocoa Hazelnut Spread Sandwich
- Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Tuna Salad Sandwich
- Egg Salad Sandwich and add a slice of cheese to add in extra protein
- Italian Sandwich Spread for sandwiches loaded with cheese and veggies (and meat for meat-lovers)
Football Mom Tip for the Mouth Guard:
Need a mouth guard that is thinner and less likely to cause gagging or be bothersome to your child who is sensitive to mouth guard usage? Try out this model shown below. We just fitted it to my son and it’s fantastic! We love it! Though it can be a challenge to get it to fit right, however, it can be heated and re-formed up to twenty times. For my youngest son, it took us 12 times before we got it right;) But, it’s well worth it for the youth player who is prone to gagging with more traditional mouth guards.
SISU Mouth Guards Aero 1.6mm Custom Fit Sports Mouthguard Youth/Adults, Original, Charcoal Black
Food Ideas by the Handful
Pack food that can be eaten quickly as they will want to scarf it down fast because they will be super hungry and may not have a lot of time to eat. I find packing food they can scoop up by the handfuls are good options. Ward off the hangry!
- any kind of unshelled nuts: walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pistachios
- soy nuts
- yogurt covered raisins
- dried cranberries, apples, apricots, prunes, dates, cherries
- trail mix loaded with nuts and dried fruit
- cut up fruit such as cantaloupe, watermelon, mandarin orange (pre-peeled), strawberries, nectarines
- small fruits to pop in their mouth: grapes, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
- bite-size veggies such as celery, peppers, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, kohlrabi slices
- dried mango makes a great dessert;)
- cereal like Chex® mixed with nuts
- veggie or multigrain chips
- prepackaged pouches of mixed nuts
- saltines or oyster crackers
- cheese cracker and peanut butter sandwiches
- protein shakes
- yogurt drinks or smoothies
- water, lots of water!
- orange, apple, or vegetable juice
- vitamin water
- flavored sparkling water
- water infused with lemon, cucumber, other fruits (let the fruit pieces sit in water for a while)
- chocolate milk (great beverage for when they feel depleted after practice and games, even coach recommends it too)
- white milk (great beverage for after practice and games)
- iced tea
- sports drinks, though water is best
- homemade lemonade (real lemon juice, water, sugar)
- Crystal Light®
- non-dairy milk (cashew, soy, almond, rice)
- malt or shake
- chicken broth (warm in a thermos for cold temps)
- hot chocolate
- apple cider
- Jello® water (about 8 oz. warm water with a small packet of Jello)
- cold coffee drink with milk
Oh, and water.
Did I mention water?
Ha ha! I’m a pest. Yes! Water is the best:)
I love the water bottle shown below. It is a smaller bottle but it keeps water cold for twelve hours so I often send this water bottle with my son to use for a drink while eating (in addition to the water bottle for the game). It is dishwasher safe which is a time saver and so important to every football mom!
Thermos Funtainer 16 Ounce Bottle, Charcoal
This summer I bought the Iron Flask water bottle pictured below for my son for the long high school football practices and it has worked out phenomenally well! It is large and keeps the water and ice cold for hours and hours. It must be hand washed but it is of very high quality and I am very happy with it (will be buying my husband one this Christmas).
Makes a great gift for kids in sports. Works fantastically to keep water cold into the afternoon for practices or games. I love how it has multiple top options too.
Iron Flask – 64 Oz, 3 Lids, Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Hot & Cold, Wide Mouth, Nalgene, Double Walled, Simple Thermo Modern Travel Mug, Hydro Canteen, Black
Traditional mouth guard we have used:
Shock Doctor Gel Max Convertible Mouth Guard, Blue, Adult
Men’s Sports Athletic Compression Football Soccer Socks Over Knee High Socks (White)
For more easy meal ideas, check out this post about 10 Easy Tortilla Lunch Meal Ideas Tweens & Teens Can Make
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Evelyn Hernandez says
I am a soccer mom and love your snack ideas, as normally the moms bring chips and juice to the field, wish they would bring healthier snacks instead.
Julie Hoag says
I know, you are so right! There are so many good healthy snacks that are perfect for youth athletes. Thanks for reading!
Amanda Martin says
I don’t have kids but I do have an athletic husband! He and I both are live a very active lifestyle so we constantly need healthy snacks. I will definitely be using some of your suggestions
Julie Hoag says
I hope my ideas help you both out. Thanks!!
Such neat ideas! And probably way more filling.
Julie Hoag says
Right! They definitely need filling foods high in carbs, protein, and fruits and veggies. Thanks for reading!
These ideas are probably way more filling!
As the mother of three girls, I’ll probably never get a football mom. But.. I am a dance mom so I can relate in another way.
Julie Hoag says
Yes, these ideas would be great for any active kids! Hope my ideas help:)
Kayla G says
Pizza bagels are my favorite! And fruit is such a healthy and easy snack. Thanks for the tips!
Julie Hoag says
I love pizza bagels too! Fruit is a perfect snack. Thanks so much!
Supriya Kutty says
Football is a game very you need to stay fit strong and energetic throughout the game for that you need a good healthy food to keep you stay till the end of the minute, whatever you have shared in the article looks quite healthy and actually one should notice this is surely sharing this article with my friends and family so that they be fit and can work hard till the end. thanks keep posting
Julie Hoag says
Yes, you are right. I agree. Football is a game where participants need to stay strong and healthy and eat healthy foods. Thank you so much!!