Looking for healthy game day snacks or team snack ideas to stock up your cooler for your kid’s softball games? Look no further because these 50 snack ideas softball families love will make you Queen of the game day cooler.
Picture this scene, you have a home game right at dinner time and your kids (and you) are starving. You don’t want to feed them dinner ahead of the game because your athletes will be sluggish during the game. Besides they will surely ask you what’s for dinner upon your return home. So what do you do?
Part of our mission is to help you make softball fun for the whole family. So what better way to do this than to have a picnic of yummy and healthy snacks at every game?
Let’s talk about healthy pre-game snacks to fuel up for the game. Team snacks for the dugout to keep their energy up. Snacks to keep the witching hour at bay for your other kids watching the game, and post-game snacks for kids that will not ruin their appetite for dinner.
You will be winning at this Team Mom thing and because they are healthy choices, you will be winning in the nutrition department too!
This list of team snack ideas for your cooler will make you the popular mom on the team and will have you winning the battle over the concession stand of candy and junk food and wasted money.
Here we go!
Let’s talk first about cooler choices. Hard-sided, soft-sided, collapsible, rolling, tailgating, personal, family sized. There are sizes and options for every need.
Find the best match for your Cooler needs
Will you take the cooler with you to the field and eat picnic style? Or will you grab a few things out from inside when you’re hungry and mostly leave it in the trunk?
Here are a few popular choices:
This small cooler would be great for your athlete’s personal bench snacks or for one to two people watching a home game. Small in size but does the job.
This cooler by Igloo is a popular choice for a medium-to-large-sized family at a home or away game.
This cooler by Coleman would be perfect for a local tournament weekend where you will watch many games in one day, but that is local and you can restock the cooler for the next day at home. This cooler can hold more food and drinks for everyone and is a bit more rugged than the Igloo. Filled with ice, it will keep food cool all day long.
This Yeti is the “Cadillac” of coolers. More expensive than the rest but built to last a lifetime with some really smart features. If you regularly use coolers and plan to use one for camping too, maybe you just invest in this beauty. And if you foresee travel tournament weekends away as a regular part of your summer season, it might just be worth it.
A Yeti cooler like this can keep ice cold for a 3-day tournament easily. Some people reported a cold ice/water mix for as long as 8 days! It’s tough enough to sit on without buckling and the handle and wheels will make transporting it to your picnic site/softball field really easy.
Again this is overkill for a 2 hour home game but is perfect for a Friday-Sunday Road Trip Tournament. The money it could save you from feeding your family of 4 takeout food for every meal while you are away could more than pay for itself in just one or two tournaments.
Best Healthy Game Day Snack Options by time
Load up the kids with after-school snacks that provide protein and carbs that will provide healthy fuel as energy for game time performance.
- Ham and cheese, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches
- Turkey and cheese veggie wrap
- Pasta Salad
- Egg Salad
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- String Cheese or Babybel cheddar cheese
- Yogurt cups
- Granola and berries
- Fruit cups
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Cut up or baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Broccoli florets
- Cherry tomatoes
- Cut up veggies
- Cold shrimp
- Beef Jerky
- Granola bars
- Healthy cereal in baggies
- Nut-Free Trail mix
- “Nut” Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
A word about NUTS (only pack snacks with nuts if NO ONE on the team has a nut allergy). Be careful with this and if you suspect anyone with a nut allergy, don’t take the risk. We don’t want to see the epi-pen on the field because we made the choice to give our child
When you have a morning game breakfast can sometimes happen in the car. Good choices here that kids love can have a breakfast theme to them. Again, these have lots of protein for fuel.
- Breakfast burritos: scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes or stir-fried peppers in a flour tortilla wrap.
- English muffin sandwiches with sausage patties or bacon. YUM!
- Bean burrito
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Greek yogurt with fruit and granola
- Healthy cereal with milk and fruit (put into a plastic bowl with milk in a separate container).
- Oatmeal with fruit
- 100% fruit juice
- Smoothies with protein, fruit, and veggies
- Fried egg sandwich and bacon.
Man, am I craving a morning game for an excuse to eat a bacon and egg sandwich right about now, but I digress!
Post Game Snacks
After the game, your kid is famished and already asking “what’s for dinner?” Help satisfy her hunger without ruining her appetite with these light snacks to eat on the way home from the game.
- chocolate milk
- orange slices
- granola bars
- apple slices
If you are on Team Snack Duty for the game
These team snack ideas are winners for bench snacks that can easily be consumed between innings or for those girls taking a “bench break.” The girls will love you for them. Raising your Queen Mama status.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Apple Slices
- Watermelon Slices
- Beef Jerky
- String cheese
- Cut-up veggies
- Fruit gummies
- Chewing Gum
Food for g
ames played close to home
There is a different feeling when the game is close to home. You don’t need to prepare as much, because you know you are only a few minutes from your fridge and all the food contained inside your home. Your kids can wait 10-15 minutes.
When your game is a travel game that is 30-60 minutes from home, you know you need to have those
So for home games, pack a few game time snacks for your athlete to keep in the dugout with her.
For you and the rest of your family, pack some snacks to enjoy during the game. This will help if your other kids get the munchies and start bugging you to go home for dinner. The likelihood is, your game is during dinner time so this is a preventative measure.
Packing up the cooler for away games and tournaments
Spending the day or weekend away from home at a tournament game can mean that you are in semi-camping mode. For this situation, we are packing up the cooler for several meals.
Thinking through the snack choices will be much more important than a simple one game event.
Lunchtime sandwiches may become a priority item for your cooler. Fruit, cheese, dips, all the cool favorites will make the list as well, plus drinks to keep everyone hydrated and happy.
You’ll want snacks for between games for your athlete to refuel on and food for during the games for everyone else too.
Think through what needs to go in the cooler to stay cold over the 3 days, and what can go into a separate dry foods bag to save space.
Pack food like salads and cut up fruit in square containers for stacking and space saving, and wraps and sub sandwiches in quart and gallon-sized freezer bags. In fact, pack everything in freezer bags so they stay dry.
Pack up the cooler with plenty of ice in gallon-sized freezer bags to prevent leaking, and pack your drinks and food in around them.
Avoid opening the cooler too much to prevent melting and be selective of what needs to go in the cooler.
Try not to pack items that you know will melt in the hot sun. Chocolate, for instance, will melt in the summer very easily.
It’s not too late to get organized for softball games
I hope these cooler tips and snack ideas helped you wrap your head around your snack plan for all the different games types you will face. Home, Away, Travel, and Tournament Games.
By the way, I created The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season just for moms like you who need someone to simply guide them on what to do to get ready for the season. It’s fun, helpful, and so relatable.
Plus, The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season Workbook has printable checklists for your softball equipment list prep, your car packing prep, the weekly schedule, dinner prep and more.
You do not have to struggle with disorganization related to softball season anymore! Pick it up today.
I am so proud of you for taking control of conquering the chaos that can be softball season and getting started!
It’s going to be a great season. Let’s Play Ball!
Love softball and want more ideas for how to conquer the season? Check out these posts:
- 6 Easy Tasks for Successful Softball Season Prep
- Good Sportsmanship: How To Keep Your Cool At Games
- How to Make a Softball Tournament fun for the Whole Family
- How To Best Prepare Your Car For Travel Softball
- How to Joyfully Survive the Softball Tournament Season
P.S. Join our email list here to be part of our softball moms community at Laboy Joy and have access to our free resource library, where you can find the printable version of the Healthy Game Day Snacks Grocery List.
Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.