My 6 year old son is playing basketball this winter. Even though it’s painful for me to watch this young group of boys and girls (Pre-K and K) dribble, shoot, and figure out the game of basketball, I wanted my son to participate in a healthy activity for the winter. He, of course, loves the sport and is having a ton of fun, which is the most important aspect of playing a sport or participating in any physical activity, especially at a young age. Today I was livid when we showed up to the court and before B even began playing the ref was handing out XL candy bars to all the kids, including my 8 year old, who is not even participating. XL! Not a bite size, not a regular, not even a king size. XL!
Obviously there are so many things wrong with this. The main thing being what does this teach our children?! Here, enjoy this XL sugary, chocolate bar with 36 grams of fat and 600 calories (the package claims to have 3 servings, but I think it should be 4) and have fun playing basketball. The two do not go hand in hand. Thankfully, B knew enough to hand the chocolate bar over since he was about to be running up and down the court, but he immediately asked for it once he was done playing. His sister moaned the entire time during the game saying how hungry she was and couldn’t she just eat the Hershey bar……at 10 o’clock in the morning!!! Thanks, sketchy ref who hands out candy bars to children he doesn’t know.
Young kids are not burning a ton of calories in their weekly recreational sports game. Therefore, snacks should be kept minimal (if at all) and simple, such as fruit and water. Candy adds more calories and sugar than children are getting rid of from this little bit of physical activity. More importantly, however, we want to teach our children good habits. Did I let my kids have the Hershey bar? Sure I did. 1/4 of the bar. After they ate a balanced meal with some fruit and water.