I used to take an art class after school in the 5th grade. Every Tuesday, the amazing woman who taught the class would bring in 15 tiny bags of Cheez-Its, a box of apple juice, and an oatmeal cookie for each kid in the class.
Oh my Lord, I loved Tuesdays for that very reason. To this day Cheez-Its and apple juice are still one of my favorite comfort foods as soon as the leaves begin to turn gold and red. (Seriously, you should try it.)
No, it wasn’t the healthiest snack, but this was the ’80s and parents didn’t micromanage such things. They were thankful their children had something to do after school and that they got a snack they didn’t have to provide.
The art teacher didn’t have to do any of this of course, but you could tell it brought her great joy to see us dig in before we started making clay bowl and painting each other’s portraits. This tiny gesture has stuck with me through the years. Honestly, I’m not even sure I’d remember art class if it weren’t for the snacks she joyfully provided each week.
Fast forward to 2019 where snack bags are something we’ve come to expect for our kids. After every game, each parent takes a turn providing a snack for the team. Lots of parents downright loathe snack bags. I hear them complaining about about it at nearly every opportunity.
Meanwhile, I’m scrolling through Pinterest trying to find some creative inspiration to make those kids smile.
Parents, please: stop getting so pissed off about snack bags.
I know, I’m being so fucking annoying to some of you right now, but I actually like taking the time out of my day to do this. It’s a simple thing that goes a long way, and to me, putting together a treat for kids is a break from my everyday life. I’m not ashamed to admit I like to overachieve when I can.
I also can’t deny the fact it’s nice to be appreciated even if it’s only for a few seconds while the kids are running for a bag of goldfish crackers or slamming a straw into a juice pouch.
Lots of parents downright loathe post-activity snack bags. I hear them complaining about it at nearly every opportunity. Meanwhile, I’m pinning my butt off trying to find some inspiration to make those kids smile.
First, it makes me feel good to dole out snack bags. Even if they don’t fully notice it now, it gives everyone a sense of community and folks helping each other out.
Second, yes, they do need nourishment after a short game — even if it wasn’t super intense. While some parents think picking dandelions in the outfield doesn’t require a snack, may I remind you most adults I know need a fucking snack after watching their favorite TV show — and they are done growing. So yes, a boost is in order here.
Third, it makes the event fun and gives the kids something to look forward to. We all know food brings people together and taking a few minutes after a game to fool around, bond, and recap is so much better with something to munch on. It’s a nice closer to an exciting event.
Finally, most children are going to hit you up for a snack as soon as they get home anyway, so why not chip in and do your part by dropping off the freaking snack bags when it’s your turn? If it feels like a burden, just remember that in the weeks to come, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy some snack-free post-game downtime.
. The coaches and teachers are typically more than happy to provide a list of players/students, along with any allergies or special concerns. That way parents can provide a snack for everyone to enjoy and no one is left out.
The sad truth is, there are kids playing who might not get a snack that day unless a snack bag was provided. Remember that when you feel put out about buying some extra cheese sticks. You’ve made their day more than you know and I think we can all agree that’s worth the extra effort.
Most children are going to hit you up for a snack as soon as they get home anyway, so why not chip in and do your part by dropping off the freaking snack bags when it’s your turn?
Snack bags bring kids a lot of fucking joy, so stop complaining. It’s a small gesture. It doesn’t have to be expensive or look as if Martha Stewart put it together. And if it pisses you off when little Tommy says what you brought is nasty, who cares? No snack for Tommy. Oh well.
No, it’s not necessary to do this for our kids, but neither is adding extra hot fudge to your ice cream, getting a pedicure, or taking the scenic route home when the kids are asleep so you can sip on your Starbucks in peace a little bit longer. But we still do these small gestures because they add to our day and sometimes they can be the thing that gets us through to the next hour. For many kids, sharing a snack with their teammates will create lasting memories for just that reason.
And if I can help them with that in some way, that’s all the motivation I need to do it again and again.