Tyson Any'tizers, snacks for on the go kids

Healthy Snacks for On The Go Kids

Club Soccer Survival Guide for Parents

This fall has been absolutely crazy for us. My kids decide that they wanted to play A LOT of soccer and so my two oldest, both girls, added club soccer to their town travel team. My son in 2nd grade, dropped karate for extra soccer skills training as well. The result: 14 soccer events a week. Yep, 14! Not only is it a crazy amount of driving but:

  • The days, times and fields are constantly shifting.
  • The games can be really far away. Furthest so far: 2.5 hours one way. And no toilet or port-a-potty there either!
  • The practices have switched towns Belmont to Newton to Cambridge.
  • The practices can be quite late. The latest one ends at 9:15 pm and is one town over.
Surviving 14 soccer events a week plus other extracurriculars has been a challenge for my husband and me. We offer these tips for parents of busy kids.

Car Pools

Car pools can be difficult to put together when you join a club sport since it draws from many towns and requires tryouts. Since many age groups practice on the same field, you might find kids from your town who are the opposite sex or a different grade whose parents will happily carpool with you. It won’t matter that your child doesn’t know their child.  Even if you don’t get into a car pool immediately, keep trying! One will eventually come together.

A Well Stocked Car is Everything

It used to be that having a collapsible chair in the back of my car was enough to watch my kids play sports. With practices and games further away, the car stash has grown with it. Now, I stock: toilet paper (not all fields have toilet facilities), umbrella (club soccer games on turf fields rarely get canceled for just rain — you need thunder and lightening), blanket, food, sunscreen (back-to-back games are not unusual), money (some fields will have food vendors), extra water, and a first aid kit (shake ice packs and band aids come in handy).

Preventing Injuries

I’m noticing that as kids go through growth spurts, their bodies can ache with mysterious pains the doctor can’t seem to find a root cause for. Prevention is key. Thorough stretching before and after a game or practice is essential.  My tween daughter’s team arrives a half hour before practice to warm up on their own, followed by a half hour of stretching led by their coach. It may seem like overkill but it really helps keep them healthy. Yoga is great too for a deep stretch.

If your child is prone to ankle or knee injuries, support braces and gel heels can really help.

Keeping Kids Organized

It’s hectic getting out the door with all the proper gear and supplies and kids should take some of the responsibility. We ask our kids to remove their cleats and shin guards and repack their soccer bags for their next practice.

They have a soccer bag for each since their uniforms  are different. They are responsible for making and packing their own water bottle plus making sure they have the gear they require including practice uniforms and soccer socks. (Even though the soccer socks are long, they do the same disappearing act as normal socks so this has been a challenge for us!)

Healthy Food Choices to Keep Them Going

As a mom trying to keep up, the biggest challenge has been feeding my kids. They are STARVING all the time!

Our nutritionist has always stressed the importance of mini-meals as after school snacks. Not only are they filling but they are healthy food choices. Now that the after school snack is also an early dinner, it’s more important than ever to feed them a hot protein-rich meal.

Speed to table is essential too. My kids are ravenous after school and practically in physical pain, particularly if they didn’t like their lunch. Tyson’s Any’tizers work for us because my kids like them and it gives them energy without weighing them down like a carb-heavy meal. Other great, fast choices include: grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, oatmeal, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The school year is hectic and Tyson® Any’tizers® snacks understands. They are creating a “School Year Survival Guide” tab on its Facebook page that will contain all sorts of helpful tips including managing your family’s schedule, to optimizing your kids’ study time, to Tyson® Any’tizers® snacks recipes that your tweens will enjoy (and that you’ll enjoy too!), to relaxation and rejuvenation tips for parents, and more.

Tyson Any'tizers, snacks for on the go kids

How about you? How are you surviving back-to-school? Please share your tips for keeping it together!

This is sponsored post that I was excited to do because I could really use more tips on surviving the school year! My opinions are my own, as is my temporary insanity for letting my kids get this over scheduled. The story behind the slippery slope to 14 soccer events a week is here and here.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. a

    Not entirely sure how any of those items can be considered “healthy”. high sodium, high fat. Your suggestions of PBJ, oatmeal, quesadillas, grilled cheese are all much better choices and cheaper too.

    • Hi A,
      I say “All Things in Moderation.” My kids also like variety and I’m ok with the salt content. They sweat so much that they actually need the salt. As for high fat, a lot of it comes off when you bake it and, again, all things in moderation. My kids like the chicken because it’s a hot, hearty meal that is basically a snack that substitutes for dinner as they don’t eat dinner until after practice and that can be 8:45 through 9:30pm.

  2. Giora

    Yep, being a soccer mom is a full time job. Nice FB page for Tyson any’tisers. There is a book that might be relevant for your post today. “Soccer for Moms: Game & Parenting Essential for Healthy Kids” by Kerrie Page (2009). While the games keep you very busy, look at the positives. Soccer games involve a lot of running, so they keep your children in good shape. And your children, and you, travel to other places, expanding your horizons. I submit that it’s good also for soccer moms to play soccer, maybe even have some games where the moms play with the children on the same team. Not every time of course, but maybe once or twice a year as a special game.
    Giora recently posted…Bonn, Jena + German songsMy Profile

    • Hi Giora,
      Thanks for the book suggestion! Sometimes our kids’ teams make the parents play against the kids. I don’t play soccer (and my kids make fun of me when I try) so I usually send in my husband who played soccer in high school. The kids do love playing against adults though! They think it’s funny!

  3. Catherine Johnson

    Yikes that is full on. We are lucky we only have one child at the moment to run around after and his scouts and hockey aren’t too bad. He was supposed to be in a group on Sun a.m. on the ice at 6 a.m. and luckily we accidentally got him moved to the older group that starts at 8a.m. and Sat afternoons which is no big deal either.
    I agree that your choices seemed healthy. I’ll have to check out that FB page.
    Catherine Johnson recently posted…Perfect Picture Book Friday: HalloweenMy Profile

    • Hi Catherine,
      I’m happy that we made it through our first season with so much soccer. We have another week to go but it starts to wind down this weekend! Yay! We are already planning more elaborate meals now that we can get our family dinner back!

      The early morning games are not fun at all! I’m glad yours got moved to a decent hour!

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