Bring Back Healthy Sideline Snack Challenge

Thank you for your interest in giving junk food the boot and choosing to boost veggies & fruit and promoting the wonders of water!

Congratulations to Strathroy United FC!  

Strathroy United FC is leading the way in Ontario in support of healthier eating environments by adopting association-wide guidelines for the types of snacks offered by guardians and coaches during or after practices and games. These guidelines recommend preference to the provision of vegetables and/or fruit and water when snacks are offered during or after games and practices. 

This action was in response to feedback from coaches and parents that such guidelines would be supported and beneficial to players. This action demonstrates the value the association places on the health of its team members and highlights the importance of how healthy food choices supports sport performance.  

Congratulations again and thank you for leading the change!


What is the Healthy Sideline Snack Project?

The project is an initiative of the County of Middlesex Healthy Kids Community Challenge.  The goal is to work with local youth sports teams in promoting healthy eating by supporting healthy snacks and beverages.

For more information on the project, check out our 2017 Bring Back Healthy Sideline Snack Video

As well, check out this video featuring a soccer team who embraced the challenge to Bring Back Healthy Sideline Snacks in 2016!


Why the Project?

Children who play sports are more likely to eat sugary foods and drinks then children who do not play sports.

One of the factors is that team snacks have become overrun with sugary and salty treats like cookies, granola bars, chips, cupcakes, donuts, Freezies, juice boxes and other sugary drinks.  Gone are the days of providing orange and watermelon slices!

As well, many children in minor sports choose to drink sports drinks despite rarely this being necessary.  In fact, the Canadian Pediatric Society just released a position paper that sports drinks are generally unnecessary for children and youth and can pose potential health risks. Water generally is the way to GO!


What is the benefit?

By giving junk food the boot and choosing veggies & fruit, coaches, parents and guardians are being positive role models for players.  Vegetables, fruit and water give our kids the strength they need to run, jump and play. Well-nourished kids play better and longer, stay more alert and recover more quickly.

County of Middlesex sports teams can support healthy snacks and lead the change in supporting healthy environments for players!

Click here for more information on the benefits of the Challenge. 


Will my team support the change?

Feedback from the 2016 and 2017 Project showed that children, parents, and guardians embraced the change!  

  • “I wasn't sure the parents or the kids would go for it, but I thought it was a good idea to try. They ALL went for it though!” – Coach
  • “We had a very supportive team and everyone followed through with the healthy actually was easier because in the past I found snack was becoming a competition with "who would bring the best snack" and the snack became bigger and less nutritious.” - Parent
  • “It was a great program and I already know I will be contacting our soccer association and encouraging them to enforce a healthy snack for every team!” - Parent

Click below for summary infographic from the 2016 and 2017 Challenge.  


Helpful Links & Resources

2018 Coaches Package 

Benefits of Healthy Sideline Snacks

Infographic from 2017 Challenge

Infographic from 2016 Challenge

Snack Card


2016 Ilderton Girls  

Pictures of 2016 Teams  

Thank you for leading the change in support of Healthy Kids Middlesex! 


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