Fifty-six percent of school-aged children participate in team sports, yet there is limited evidence on how participation in youth sports impacts the dietary behaviors of participants and their families. Our team surveyed parents and caregivers of children participating in recreation league youth sports (n = 178) to assess the foods and beverages offered as team snacks and factors that influence team snack choices. Juice was the most popular beverage, and crackers were the most popular snack reported by parents. Convenience, followed by cost and child preference, were the most frequently reported factors influencing team snack choices. Survey items also included factors that influence mealtime behaviors on game and practice days. Convenience, followed by nutrition and taste, were most frequently reported as factors that influenced mealtime behaviors. Almost half of parents said their family’s eating habits changed as a result of recreational youth sports activities, and more than half said their family often or always eats dinner outside of the home on game and practice days. Professionals who work with this age group and their parents, including extension agents, can tailor education to encourage healthy team snacks and promote strategies to make healthy meals accessible on evenings with youth sports.


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