As fall soccer season winds down, it’s interesting to reflect
on some observations from the sidelines!
We’ve experienced very different coaching dynamics on the
different teams, and two very different teams as a result. This
soccer season has also been about great friends, old and new. I
think it’s a great social skill to see kids learn to work
together as a team and support each other in a group effort
while still pushing themselves to excel on a personal level.
There was much excitement and laughter throughout the season.
All-in-all, it was a very positive experience for the kids.
Unfortunately, the dark cloud that loomed over the soccer games
was the issue of snacks for the kids. It never ceased to amaze
me what would pass as ‘fuel’ for these little
athletes-in-the-making. Also, the frequency and timing of the
‘fuelings’ seemed ridiculous. Games were an hour long, yet
parents were expected to provide half-time snacks and drinks
and post-game snacks and drinks. Many of the games ended at
7:15 at night! Yet, we were expected to provide a ‘snack’ for
the team. I thought that particular snack was called “dinner”!
With all the buzz about childhood obesity for the last couple
of years, you’d think the soccer powers-that-be would say,
“Hold on a minute! Maybe these little people don’t need to eat
quite that much… they’re not playing professional soccer and
burning through 3,000 calories per game quite yet! Maybe we are
part of the childhood obesity problem by sending these skewed
Even if these were professional players, it would be highly
unlikely that they would ever think of putting this garbage
into their high-performance bodies during the game.
When the letters to parents came home at the start of the
season, one coach requested that the half-time snack be fruit.
I don’t think most parents got the memo! The same coach,
however, also recommended juice drinks for both the half-time
and post-game snack times and “treats” for post game.
That’s just perfect. Let’s reward kids with toxic garbage that
subtracts from their health because they did something good,
healthy, and athletic. Craziness! That is exactly why I refuse
to call this stuff “treats”. It takes away from health. How can
that be a ‘treat’?! The term “tasty toxin” sums it up quite
accurately. I’m not arguing that a lot of this stuff tastes
good, especially to a kid. But, it’s clearly toxic to our
I only saw water served as the beverage of choice two times
over the course of two months! Several children wrinkled their
noses at the water and made remarks about how they “don’t like
water” or “don’t ever drink it because it doesn’t taste good.”
That’s frightening. Last time I checked, we need water to
survive and be healthy! Alas, what child would choose plain
water over colorful fruit drinks in cool, brightly decorated
pouches, or over sports drinks and energy drinks that their
sports heroes endorse, or over soda pop that has such lively
and entertaining marketing. It makes water seem pretty dull.
I saw more Rice Krispies treats offered as snacks than I can
shake a stick at. I saw chips galore, pretzel “sandwiches” (who
knew?!) filled with fake processed ‘cheese’, bags of cookies,
packaged brownies, snack crackers… all loaded with some
combination of artificial colors, artificial flavors,
artificial sweeteners, excitotoxins, hydrogenated or partially
hydrogenated oils, fake fats, refined grains, excessive sugar,
and on and on.
I do not believe that childhood obesity is the biggest issue we
have. These kids on the soccer teams were not even close to
obese. Childhood toxicity is a far bigger problem. Whether or
not any of these kids ever becomes obese is clearly not the
most significant and dangerous issue, if they keep eating this
way on a regular basis. This type of food cannot possibly
result in healthy cell function. What is so painstakingly
difficult to understand about this?
The snack at a recent game took the cake… almost literally. An
assortment of chips and crackers along with fake, toxic juice
drinks to wash down them down took their usual place on the
sidelines earlier in the games. Then, to my shock, out came the
gigantic cupcakes! Yes, as a snack during a soccer game, these
kids were offered an over-sized cupcake (from the local
warehouse store), each topped with neon icing that stood an
additional inch off the top of the cupcake itself!
The kids drooled! Shoot, I think I drooled! I don’t try to
mislead anyone – I think cupcakes taste great, too! That
doesn’t mean I eat it just because it’s there. It’s just not a
wise choice. That’s also why I don’t bring this stuff into my
house. I would obviously eat it in a moment of “weakness”!
As I’ve always taught our kids, if you know you’re going to a
birthday party or some special event where there will be “tasty
toxins” served, and you’re going to choose to have some, then
you need to be a responsible “body owner” and make sure your
body has been properly fueled FIRST. Make sure you’ve given it
ample fresh fiber in the form of veggies and fruit, clean
protein and natural fats. The rest of your intake should be
pretty healthy and clean in order to make sure that your body
gets what it needs to: 1) create more healthy function for you,
and 2) protect you from toxicity, infection, sickness, or
whatever it might need to deal with.
These cupcakes were presented at 11:15 in the morning. There’s
not a chance that enough healthy fuel for the day had crossed
their lips yet to justify this choice! Oh, and this massive
dose of sugar and artificial toxic ingredients was served with
the toxic fruit drink of choice for this generation. Wow.
So, am I judging? No, actually I’m not. I am, however, venting.
I find it frustrating… infuriating… that this even happens. It
just makes me sad. I know that parents (coaches,
administrators, etc.) don’t really know the true consequences
of providing those foods. Of course they don’t! I do not
believe that any parent would knowingly harm their children in
any way. People just don’t associate giving their children
toxic, chemical, factory-made poison with causing harm. They’re
thinking it’s a ‘normal part of childhood’ or that they’d be
‘depriving’ the kids of something if they didn’t allow them to
eat this stuff. I get it. I think it’s dangerously inaccurate,
but I get it.
So, we come to an end of soccer season with mixed emotions. I’m
sad to see the running and playing and laughing and cheering
and camaraderie come to an end for this season… but, I’m SO
glad to put this snack nightmare to an end! Until the next
sport, that is!
Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a
leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. Her unique
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