Feeding your hockey players when always on the go

Feeding your hockey players when always on the go

This is a struggle for most hockey families and our family is no exception. The proverbial hockey family dinner at 4 pm or at 11 pm holds true. On any given night during the regular season, our fueling schedule consists of a snack immediately after school, so at around 3:45-4 pm (this is typically a mini bag of pretzels or a Nutella sandwich); a small meal at around 5 pm for the child who's not at practice (noodles for Jason and another Nutella sandwich for Luke) and a main meal at 9 pm or so when the child who had practice comes back (this is typically chicken nuggets, a large frozen pizza or a whole package of pasta with tomato sauce). The child who didn't have practice technically should not be eating at 9 pm but who are we kidding - how could growing boys resist some more simple carbs when they see their sibling starved and devouring their plate of Capellini with gusto. 

A lot of families resort to feeding their children in the car. Makes perfect sense - time is tight and many will spend 20 minutes to an hour driving to the rink two or three times a night. They might as well put the time to good use. 

We don't let the kids eat in the car simply because we don't feel like dealing with inevitable messy aftermath. Our kids are very clumsy. Assuming yours can handle simple finger food in a moving vehicle, here are a few recommendations from Stefanie Rock, CSN, at Rock Performance followed by some additional recs from the community, i.e. hockey parents like you and me. 

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I like the practical recommendations for things that will keep reasonably well in the car even over extended periods of time. Meaning you could stack up on a few of these and just keep in the trunk in a box or a container for when you need them in a pinch. 


I love these additional recommendations from the community:

Robert recommends chicken, bananas, cheese sticks.

Gina sticks to sandwiches and frozen yogurt sticks. She also buys launchable or builds her own with pepperoni, cheese sticks, and crackers. Mini bagels and Clif bars are also her go-tos in the car.

Brit recommends bagels, dry cereal (in zip-lock baggies), bananas, granola bars. She also makes sandwiches in the morning to bring in the car. Other options that can be pre-made and then brough along for the ride: cold pasta & chicken. She says: "I literally make chicken nuggets and put them in foil and bring them in the car too." For those long practice nights for herself, she has a lunch-size crack pot to put chicken with rice and pasta in. Don't forget a pack of disposable forks for that.

I hope this gives you some ideas. Anything beats spending $40 a practice night for a quick run to Subway, which quickly adds up when multiplied by five. For what it's worth, I still don't understand how a meal for two at Subway now costs $40. All the more reason to get creative with meal planning for the car ride. 

Let me know in the comments if you have anything to add. 

- Kristina 


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