What is one of the most important things for every practice?
A-1: Bring water.
A-2: Each swimmer needs plenty of drinking water for each practice. Also, each parent and other individual here should have water to drink.
A-3: Water should be in a non-breakable container that is clearly marked to be easily recognized.
A-2: NO enhanced water, NO flavored water, NO sweetened water, NO "diet" water, NO "zero-calorie" drinks, NO "sports drinks."
Should swimmers bring a snack for every practice?
A-1: Yes. Bring an "approved" snack--even if the swimmer is still full from a recent meal.
A-2: If there isn't a snack break, take just a few minutes following the end of practice for the swimmer to eat a small snack.
A-3: A small snack from the "approved" list will help swimmer eat more wisely in the following meal.
A-4: A very convenient item that can just be left in your car in case you don't have time to get something else is 1-2 packs of GoGo squeeZ applesauce. It can stay in your car for weeks without spoiling.
What is NOT appropriate for snacks or meals?
A-1: NO foods or beverages containing artificial ingredients. That is, NO artificial color, NO artificial flavor, NO artificial sweetener.
A-2: NO foods or beverages containing these ingredients. NO HFCS (high fructose corn sugar), NO corn syrup, NO corn sugar, NO dextrose.
A-3: NO foods or beverages containing ingredients you can’t pronounce.
What is appropriate for snacks or meals?
A-1: Fresh fruits, carrot or celery sticks, turnip or jicama slices, plain raisins, cheese, plain crackers, peanut butter or other nut butter, very small sandwiches, nuts (plain, salted, or unsalted ... NOT sweetened or "covered").
A-2: Bring finger foods--that is, bring foods that require no knives, no forks, no spoons, etc.
A-3: Read the ingredients. (Check the "NOT appropriate" list above, and do not bring foods and beverages with ingredients on that list.)
A-4: Foods or beverages with no added sweeteners are preferred. If any sweeteners are added, be sure they are natural, nutritive sweeteners like real cane or beet sugar, honey, maple sugar or maple syrup, coconut sugar, or items that are fruit-juice sweetened.
A-5: Hot cocoa or hot lemonade are good for a competition held on a cold day.
A-6: Hot soup or hot broth also are good for a competition held on a cold day.
A-7: Bring an extra plastic bag to take your trash home with you. (If necessary, bring one bag for your food trash and another for bathroom trash such as diapers and other wrapped items that would normally go in the bathroom trash.) If you forget . . . well . . . please don't forget. It is important that you remember.
Can I use the microwave or refrigerator or oven or stovetop?
A-1: No. Do not plan to use appliances here.
A-2: Bring your food in coolers or thermal containers as necessary to keep your cold foods cold and/or hot foods hot.
A-3: Do keep foods wrapped securely against the high humidity until the swimmers are out of the water and ready to snack. Especially things like crackers or simple cookies might get really soggy in the high humidity.