I love soccer season, I really do! It gets us all outside & spending Saturdays together on the side lines. Our community soccerplex is in an amazing location where we have a gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge Mountains & the kids love that there are train tracks not far away & you can sometimes see a train roll past during games. But now that we have 3 out of 4 kids in soccer, that often means spending some LONG hours at the fields on Saturdays. Additionally, we have soccer practices 3 - 4 days during the week. That means a lot of running around & a lot of evenings when we are short on time.
Here are some of my tips & recipes that help us fuel our bodies for best performance during these busy times. You too can get through soccer (baseball, t-ball, soft ball, lacrosse...) season without depending on drive-thru meals or pasta 4 times a week!
PACK A COOLER! For those long hours on the side lines be prepared with some healthy snacks to not only fuel your little kickers, but also to keep you satisfied & away from the greasy burgers at the concession stand! Throw in healthy choices that will fuel the whole family, be easy to eat, and not be super messy...though I always recommend carrying a package of baby wipes too....kids & hubbies make messes, that's a fact, Jack!
-veggies & hummus
-sliced fruit & all-natural peanut butter or almond butter
-whole grain wraps with all-natural peanut butter & juice-sweetened fruit spread
-homemade protein bars
LOTS & LOTS OF WATER!!! With all this running around you need to stay well-hydrated! Fill up those water bottles & skip the sugar-filled sports drinks. Need some flavor in your water? Add a few slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber. A few sprigs of mint leaves are also a tasty addition to plain water.
PLAN YOUR MEALS FOR THE WEEK! Look at your weekly schedule & plan your meals accordingly. If you know you have to be running from place to place on Tuesday, plan a portable dinner. On Thursday you have guitar lessons & three soccer practices? Plan an easy crock-pot meal that will be waiting for you when you get home.
Here are a few of my favorite crock pot & easy to prepare ahead meals:
FOOD PREP! This will take a little time on the front end, but it will save you loads of time in the long run. When you get home from the grocery store, or one a day that is a little less hectic, take the time to prepare some of your food. Wash & cut up fresh veggies & put into individual containers so they are just as easy to grab & go as some not-so-healthy chips or crackers. Wash your fruit & cut up any items that need to be sliced (i.e. fresh pineapple, melons, etc.).
Do a little batch cooking of items you can use in recipes throughout the week. Some items that I frequently batch cook:-baked boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut the breasts in half to adhere to proper portion size! (I use some for dinners & put one on my lunch salads almost every day.)
-hard boiled eggs
-quinoa (a high-protein seed that can be used like a grain...very versatile and delicious)
Here is to a happy, healthy spring sports season!!