Play ball!

June 27th, 2015 1:50 am

First Posted: 4/23/2013

Spring is here Yeah! Baseball has officially begun for both our minor league, Little League and, of course, T-ball. Keep nutrition at the top of the list when choosing team snacks, your child’s drink and dinner after the game.

Being a parent sometimes means taking your turn to supply snacks when it comes to T-ball. Often, this snack is given before dinner.

Each child eagerly awaits the sugared brightly-colored or high sodium, low nutrition snack. If mom or dad shows up with a banana, it’s often thumbs down by the team.

If you find that your child’s pre-dinner snack is not up to your nutrition standard, take a stance.

Volunteer to generate a T-ball team snack list. That way the competition won’t be as stiff and your child gets a bit of nutrition before they arrive home.

When choosing your child’s drink, think about how active he or she is during the game.

Compare their activity with the total number of calories in the beverage.

If it’s a one-hour game, most children won’t even burn the calories consumed in the container, including sports beverages.

The value of sports drinks hasn’t been studied in children. Some may even contain caffeine. If, as a parent, you are concerned about your child’s hydration, use thirst as a guide. Water is best for these types of activities.

Dinner after the game can also be a true challenge. Planning is a must to avoid those fast food drive-throughs on the way home.

Take time on the weekend to plan what your family is going to eat for lunch and dinner for the week.

If the week is too much, start with just three days.

Share your meal plans with the family to find out who is going to be home. Then match easy-to-make dinners with the amount of time you have when you return home.

Here is one of our family favorites:

Easy Skillet Lasagna

1⁄2 pound ground beef

1⁄2 cup onion (chopped)

1 can tomato sauce (15 ounce)

1 1⁄2 cup water

1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄4 teaspoon oregano

1⁄4 teaspoon basil

3 cups noodles, uncooked, 1/2 inch wide

1 package spinach, frozen, chopped (10 ounce)

1 cup cottage cheese, nonfat or ricotta

1⁄2 cup cheese, part-skim mozzarella, shredded

Brown ground beef in a large skillet.

Drain and rinse to remove fat.

Add onion, tomato sauce, water, and spices.

Cover and bring to a boil.

Add noodles.

Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Defrost spinach in the microwave.

Stir spinach into skillet mixture.

Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir mixture.

Spoon cottage cheese on top and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add water if mixture gets too dry.