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Guidelines for Food & Beverage Sales: Selling Food and Beverages at School Sporting Events

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Provide healthy hydration:


girls running in race
  • Suggest that students bring refillable water bottles to drink fluids before, during and after activity and play.
  • Make water accessible to students at all times.
  • Offer at least 50% of fluids from the Sell Most beverage category such as water, carbonated water, plain milk and unflavoured fortified soy beverage.
  • Offer up to 50% of fluids as Sell Sometimes beverage category options such as 100% fruit and vegetable juices and reduced sugar chocolate milk.
  • Before offering beverages such as sports drinks, consult the Nutrient Criteria for "Other Beverages".
Signs of Dehydration
Cramping Headache
Hard to concentrate Dizziness
Dry Mouth Goosebumps
Looking flushed Nausea
Weakness, Fatigue Feeling hot

Food for Thought

Water is the best choice to satisfy thirst. Good hydration helps students feel energetic and alert.

Provide healthy meals and snacks:

  • Choose whole and fresh food such as fresh fruit, whole grain bagels and nuts/seeds, to fuel and refuel instead of "sports food" such as protein/sports bars, sports drinks, gels and meal replacements.
  • Only offer food and beverage items at sporting events with real food ingredients like oats, brown rice, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
  • Offer carbohydrate-rich meals and snacks made with whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables and lowfat milk products. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for all sports.
  • Follow the Guidelines by offering at least 50% of prepackaged meal and snack options from the Sell Most and the rest from the Sell Sometimes categories.
  • Make food labels available and visible so that students and parents can easily see if there are potential allergies/intolerances or conflicts with religious or food preferences.
  • Consult with someone who is Food Safe certified to make sure the proper precautions are taken.
  • Choose to sell food that is lower in sugar, sodium and fat from each of the four food groups.
  • Offer meals 2 to 4 hours before activity and snacks 1 to 2 hours before sporting events for optimal health and performance.
Examples of Healthy Snacks for School Sporting Events
Trail mix made with nuts, seeds and dried fruit Fresh green salad with grilled chicken
Mixed bean salad Fruit salad cup with water or 100% fruit juice
Whole grain toast with peanut/almond butter Lean meat on 1/2 a whole grain bun
Whole grain crackers with cheese Homemade smoothie made with plain yogurt, milk and fresh fruit
Whole grain cereal bar with milk or plain yogurt ½ bagel with cheese

Act to support healthy eating:

  • Involve students in choosing which food and drinks should be sold at sporting events from the Sell Most and Sell Sometimes categories.
  • Offer Sell Most food and beverage items at a lower price than the Sell Sometimes items.

Where Can We Find Out More?

Last updated: June 2014

© 2013 Province of British Columbia. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counseling with a registered dietitian. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.