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Looking for quick, easy to pack, healthy, non-messy snacks for energy during gymnastics practice

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roses25

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I have a 6 year old who is tiny (42 inches and 40 pounds) that is starting 3 hour boys team gymnastics practices (4 days a week) soon. The coach will be gradually working him into this schedule.

I'm looking for ideas on snacks that are quick to eat, easy to pack, healthy, appealing to picky eaters, good for energy, and non-messy during gymnastics practice. He will have an early dinner before practice as practice isn't until 5:30 and lasts until 8:30, but I'm guessing he'll need something during practice for a snack. Am I guessing right that at his age and size, he'll need some type of quick snack to keep him going for practices?

Carolyn
 

rosiekat

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If he'll have already eaten a decently balanced dinner, then I'd think something with quick carbs like grapes or oranges would be the best snack. You might want to think about doing more of a heavy snack both before and after rather than a full meal, though - you don't want him to be digesting too much and then doing back flips! o_O

ps - probably best to avoid dairy before hand, at least not much of it since it can be harder to digest, but I have found giving my son a chocolate milk right afterwards helps his blood sugar and tides him over till we can get his dinner anywhere from 30-60 minutes later.
 
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skschlag

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He should be ok during practice, but I would say fruit, dried fruit, nuts if possible.
 

ldw4mlo

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Our kids practice from 4-7, no food break. She used to practice 5:30-8. When she did those hours she would have a light meal before and after.

Now she has a light snack before, we have dinner after.

When we used to do light snack/meal stuff............ Turkey/cheese roll up, egg whites with hummus, california rolls, pierogi, mac and cheese, ravioli with pesto, dumplings, fried rice, yogurt, popcorn chicken, sliders, chicken soup, wonton soup.

But there is really no snacks at our 3 hour practices.
 

dancingimmie

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My 8 yr old dd has practice 5:00-8:00 during the week. I feed her dinner at 4:15 ish and she is fine during practice, their is only quick water breaks between events. When I pick her up the first thing she gets is some chocolate milk. When we get home she has a snack. Sometimes a bowl of cereal, a yogurt or hard boiled egg. So far so good!!
 
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duyetanh

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There are no real breaks at my dd's practice either, but when she goes to get grips for bars she pounds one of those apple/pear/kale squeezers that cost co sells....takes about 30 seconds. Max. They rock!!!!
 
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Madden3

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With my two boys I have found the only snacks that work are energy bars. Work as in, they actually eat them at practice. Sometimes. Lara bars are tasty and healthy.
 

momto2js

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From a BTDT perspective, at 6, I wouldn't do a practice that ended that late that often, unless you homeschool and sleeping until 9am is an option. My kid could not have done it and he would have been a burnt-out mess in about 2 weeks.

That said my son practices from 5 to 8 and I feed him dinner when i pick him up at school, turkey sandwich, fruit, sometimes a boost too if he didn't eat lunch (which is most of the time). Then he eats a large snack after practice too. Our kids Tran in two building so as they walk between, they often have a few peanut butter crackers or a granola bar.
 
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skschlag

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From a BTDT perspective, at 6, I wouldn't do a practice that ended that late that often, unless you homeschool and sleeping until 9am is an option. My kid could not have done it and he would have been a burnt-out mess in about 2 weeks.
I would agree. that is a late ending. OP, Are you still driving really far to the gym? (Seems like I remember a really long drive for you?)

At 6, my ds was just about that exact size. He practiced 2 hours a week for 3 times a week, about half what your ds is planned to do, and that was perfect. Even now, getting home after 9 is a stress on us by Friday!
 

roses25

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I would agree. that is a late ending. OP, Are you still driving really far to the gym? (Seems like I remember a really long drive for you?)

At 6, my ds was just about that exact size. He practiced 2 hours a week for 3 times a week, about half what your ds is planned to do, and that was perfect. Even now, getting home after 9 is a stress on us by Friday!
Yes, we are the ones that are still driving really far to the gym. I've put in some job applications this spring and am trying to find a job in the town our gym is in. But if I don't land a job this spring, we will drive for the first year of team practices and try really hard to find a job next year if he likes the first year and chooses to continue. He ended up skipping right over pre-team and is moving straight to team. It really helps that practices aren't back to back days other than Friday and Saturday because I know I couldn't do the drive on back to back days but since it's every other day it gives us a day in between to enjoy home and hang out. Summer will be a great time to get used to the new schedule because I don't work in the summer.

Carolyn
 

roses25

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Thanks for all great snack suggestions. I really appreciate them.
 
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skschlag

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Good luck with all that! I agree that summer will be good. Is he competing 4? 12 hours is a lot for that age, hope it goes well :)
 

Ali'sMom

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There are no real breaks at my dd's practice either, but when she goes to get grips for bars she pounds one of those apple/pear/kale squeezers that cost co sells....takes about 30 seconds. Max. They rock!!!!
Can you tell me more about these? Are you talking about the things that look like Capri Sun but have applesauce in them? or something different?
 

vbdb

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I'd check with the gym to see if they permit snacks during training. Our gym doesn't have snack break unless the kids practice more than 4 hours. Mine eat a light meal with protein on the way to training and my 10yo who trains 4.5 hrs at a time takes fruit for a snack. Easily accessible sugars to give her a bit of energy are best during training.
 

rosiekat

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Yes, several others have brought up the very real point that in general, snack breaks aren't given. I wasn't 100% sure on that, as DS goes 2 hours at a time and doesn't really need it. He usually has a couple of crackers or grapes sitting by his water from before gym, and may grab one while he gets a drink - but it isn't a snack break or usually even much of a break at all. The older guys who are there for 4 hours at a time (generally 4:30-8:30) don't seem to have a formal snack break, either, but they seem to be free to go grab something and take 5 minutes if needed. (I say "seem" because only rarely am I there for a substantial chunk of their practice time, so I'm not 100% sure.)
 

mommyof1

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Can you tell me more about these? Are you talking about the things that look like Capri Sun but have applesauce in them? or something different?
They look like baby food pouches with a twist-off cap but contain applesauce or fruit/veggie purees designed for big kids. They taste best chilled and can be consumed very quickly, even by a slow eater like my kid.

My child also likes fig newton-type cookies for a quick, neat snack.
 
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duyetanh

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Can you tell me more about these? Are you talking about the things that look like Capri Sun but have applesauce in them? or something different?
They are the brand happy squeeze and are organic superfoods....I am staring at one and it says apple, mango, pear, and kale fruit and veggie twist..."excellent source of vitamin c, a fruit and veggie snack."...about 1/2 cup of fruit. Some of this kind of stuff is for babies, ironically my kid would not even go near them because of texture when she was a baby. Walmart has them too...different kinds. But these are her fave. So yes they are kind of like Capri suns in terms of pouches. And my dd does not like them chilled at all, so I guess everyone had their preference.:)
 

Ali'sMom

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They are the brand happy squeeze and are organic superfoods....I am staring at one and it says apple, mango, pear, and kale fruit and veggie twist..."excellent source of vitamin c, a fruit and veggie snack."...about 1/2 cup of fruit. Some of this kind of stuff is for babies, ironically my kid would not even go near them because of texture when she was a baby. Walmart has them too...different kinds. But these are her fave. So yes they are kind of like Capri suns in terms of pouches. And my dd does not like them chilled at all, so I guess everyone had their preference.:)
Thanks so much!
 

gymbeam

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They also sell reuseable pouches you can fill yourself so you're not creating so much trash. We use ours for applesauce and yogurt.
 
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