With four kids in the mix this year, you can guess that my family’s calendar is filled with lots of activities. Like many families I know, the afterschool juggle is perhaps the most critical time where food preparation for success is key.
In the last 3 months, Jaime, our Spanish exchange student, has already been a terrific role model for my kids, especially my middle son Alex. Jaime is a senior in high school and has been playing soccer in Spain since he could run and kick a ball. Alex has a natural knack for athletics, but his small frame and shy personality has limited him from taking part in team sports in the past.
With Jaime’s mentorship, Alex is giving soccer a try this year (he is currently in gymnastics and on swim team) and I’m finding myself looking for snack ideas that will fuel both an 8-year-old and a 17-year-old. Today’s shake recipe is one Jaime loves and I’m thrilled to share it with you.
Jaime has recently introduced my son to his love for Nesquik. In Spain, we grow up drinking Nesquik as young kids, with our parents adding just a teaspoon of the “magic powder,” as my grandmother used to call it, when we need a quick snack or complain about drinking white milk. Silly, I know, but I when I was a kid I would often complain to my mother about my daily breakfast consisting of a glass of white milk with a buttered plain toast until she made it exciting by adding a teaspoon of Nesquik. I too was once a kid.
Imagine my lack of surprise when I asked Jaime the first week what he preferred for breakfast, and he said: I pretty much have a glass of Nesquik and whatever you have around, like toast!
When I told Jaime that I was partnering with Nesquik to bring my readers some practical snack packing tips and develop a delicious but still nutritious recipe, he jumped at the opportunity to be my taste tester (large family perks!).
Today’s delicious shake recipe was developed to help me get additional nutrition in my kids after a tough practice or game, at a time when kids’ tired muscles need to be restored with a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. This ratio for a postgame snack is an important consideration because studies suggest that you need to replenish more than electrolytes after a long game or practice. Conveniently, low-fat chocolate milk, like Nesquik has this perfect ratio.
Other things I look for, as a mom, when choosing portable snack options for my kids and the team include no artificial sweeteners and minimal added sugars, nutritionally dense foods with vitamins and minerals to help my kids grow, and something that both tastes good to kids and travels well.
Here are three tips to keep snacks on hand for after practice or games:
- Keep a cooler or insulated bag in the trunk. I have a reusable, soft-sided insulated bag in my trunk at all times for impromptu trips to the grocery and to carry team snacks. Whether you are bringing apples and string cheese or 8-ounce low-fat chocolate milk as a snack, insulation and a little ice can make a big difference. Plus, now you have something to carry all the snacks with you go to the field!
- Prepare what you can ahead of time at home. Saturday morning practice and games often have us back home by 11 am. For my kids, this is too early for lunch and too late for breakfast but perfect for a quick snack.
For this reason, I often leave the shake (recipe below) prepared in the blender inside my fridge so both Jaime and Alex can enjoy a nutrition-dense snack within seconds of walking in the door.
- Get creative. I often hear from parents that team snacks often consist of cookies, chips, and power drinks with loads of sugar. It seems that many parents have a problem with this, but no one wants to be the nagging parent, right? To that, I say make your own kids’ snacks more delicious (and fun) than the competition and you’ll hear no complaints.
I make this chocolate shake prior to leaving my house, fill a 10-ounce thermos with it, and the temperature holds just fine! Hey, if the drive-through shakes are appealing to many after practice, so is my delicious recipe! Once other kids ask “what’s inside the container” and your kid says a “chocolate shake!” you’ll be the popular parent with the team, guaranteed.
With three out of my four kids involved in multiple activities this year, I’m looking for practical nutrition rich solutions more than ever. For my oldest three kids, low-fat chocolate milk is a good option to include in the recipe because it provides electrolytes, calcium, protein, and carbohydrates. And 8-ounces of Nesquik chocolate milk provides only 11g of added sugars (8g protein), compared to 14g of sugar in popular sports drinks (0g protein) or 16g of sugar (2g protein) in a typical multigrain bar.
I’m not saying that I bring a chocolate shake every day, but on occasion, it makes my kids feel pretty special. Other favorite snacks are parfaits inside a thermos, yogurt frozen with a popsicle stick through it (I carry these inside a thermos bag), apples and cheese (I freeze the cheese sticks, so they are not slimy after practice), and trail mix.
Does your team have any favorite after practice and game-time snacks?
Jaime’s Post-Practice Chocolate Shake
- Yield: 2
- 1 1/2 cups Nesquik low-fat chocolate milk
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon flax seeds (or flax meal)
- 1 large banana, frozen
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- In a blender, combine milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds, and let them sit for about 10 minutes to activate chia seeds.
- To the blender, add frozen banana, peanut butter, and Nesquik Chocolate powder. Blend on medium speed until the banana is fully dissolved and the shake is thick.
- Serve immediately.
the recipe has peanut butter in it. Make sure there are no known nut allergies in the team should you decide to create these shakes for everyone. When in doubt, use a nut-free alternative like sunflower seed butter and let other parents know the ingredients in the shake.
From time to time, I work with awesome companies to develop recipes for this website. Today’s post was brought to you by Nesquik. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that encourage my creativity.