I’m currently a member of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program and this post is part of my involvement with the group. While Hormel Foods has provided me material and necessary resources, including products and same-as-cash gift cards, to complete the activities shared on my blog, all statements and sentiment in MomStart are my own.
Richard “Goose” Gossage is an iconic Major League Baseball star and Hall of Famer. He’s also passionate about helping young people get involved in sports, so he’s partnered with Hormel to spread the word about the importance of providing kids with the right fuel to perform at their best. Goose hopped on the phone with me recently to share some tips to help parents support their kids in their after-school activities:
Beeb Ashcroft: I’d like to start off by learning a little bit more about why you’ve partnered with Hormel for this back-to-school season.
Goose Gossage: You know, Hormel has [always] been a food in our cupboards with SKIPPY Peanut Butter, and SPAM has been a part of our outdoor activities; being in Colorado, we live a very, very active lifestyle out here being in the mountains. And Hormel has provided us throughout raising 3 kids – even when I was a kid, SKIPPY Peanut Butter was a staple food in our cupboard way back in the day. And SPAM of course has been around for a long time. They’ve [also] got some great new products: The Hormel Pepperoni Stix and the Hormel Rev Wraps, each one has [at least] 12 grams of protein, and parents can pack it around with active lifestyles, schlepping kids from sport to sport to ensure their kids stay energized, before practice and through the game. You know, the new products – the SKIPPY P.B. Bites, man I wish we’d had these around when I was a kid. This is a brand new product that captures the signature SKIPPY taste in a bite-sized creation, with a crunchy center and a soft peanut butter coating. So perfect for snacking on or in the dugout on game days – during the game, after the game, before the game – so I wish we’d had these SKIPPY P.B. Bites when I was a kid.
Beeb Ashcroft: And I’m sure as an athlete, you can attest to how important it is to have good nutrition and protein-filled snacks for activities like sports.
Goose Gossage: Oh, absolutely, and not only for grown ups but especially for kids, because kids stay so active. And you’ve gotta kinda force them to eat their protein so they can have that reserve of energy to get ’em through the day, to get ’em through maybe a couple of sports – I know a few kids that play a couple of different sports at the same time, so going from practice to practice, you need to keep up that energy reserve. And Hormel with their protein in their products really is the ticket for these active lifestyles of these kids today.
Beeb Ashcroft: So, you’ve got the lunch for the kids; once you have that, what are some other hints for parents to help them support their kids and encourage them if they want to pursue sports?
Goose Gossage: Well, I was very lucky, Beeb, to have parents that supported me in everything that I did. I was a pitcher – I tried out for my team when I was 8 years old and they said, “You’re gonna be our pitcher”older products, fit the bill for sustaining this energy that it takes to play all these sports.
Beeb Ashcroft: And so they have something they can pack in their lunch and take with them when they’re running around doing all this stuff, right?
Goose Gossage: Absolutely! You know, in baseball in particular, they did a bat bag – we used to throw peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into our kids’ bat bags and into their packs that they carried to the games, and then we had to remind them that hey, that sandwich is there for a good reason, and that’s to eat it! You know, you gotta kinda stay on kids. Hormel has always provided this for me even when I was growing up as a kid, and now these new products and all the protein that they add, the Hormel Rev wraps, the Hormel Pepperoni Stix, and the Hormel Natural Choice – this is a great product. Pre-packaged deli meats sure to be delicious, affordable, and contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients. So, these Natural Choices are really a great product for the active family.
Beeb Ashcroft: Is that your choice for a sandwich, get the Natural Choice Meats on there?
Goose Gossage: Absolutely! They come in little packets that are easy to just throw ’em right into the kids’ packs, and they’ve got that to snack on throughout the game or throughout the day, to sustain that energy – people don’t really realize the energy that it takes for these kids and as a professional baseball player, to sustain that energy that it takes. If we’re not feeding our bodies with the fuel that it takes to sustain our energy, then we’re not gonna be able to perform on the field like we should. And these Hormel products are perfect for the active kid, for the active mom, for the active parents. We’ve gotta watch what our kids put into their bodies, so they can do the job on the field or their particular sport that they’re playing.
Beeb Ashcroft: And you hit on a good topic there, because like you said, kids’ school schedules are so packed these days with extracurricular activities – do you have any advice for parents for prioritizing which activities to choose from?
Goose Gossage: No, I think it really lies with the passion. If the kid has a passion for a particular sport, that’s what it takes to really be great at something is a passion. And because you don’t mind practices and you gotta practice to get better, so you know, these are things that you support your kids with whatever they want to do. I was always a stickler on hey, you’ve got to finish what you start. You know, pick a sport that you really do love, and you’re very passionate about, and give it your best shot. And that’s gonna bleed into your everyday life. I believe that every kid that has baseball, whether they make it to the big leagues or not is irrelevant. All the life lessons are out there on that baseball field and, you know, you’re gonna be a better person whether you make it to the big leagues or not, in anything that you do if you had played baseball because baseball is a failing sport. I can’t name anything else that you would fail 7 out of 10 times and be a star! So, learning to deal with failure – I think people are missing the boat on how sports really interacts with the kid later on in life. You know, how you deal with failure, that’s gonna directly correlate with how much success you had in life. And I believe that baseball is the greatest sport for preparing a kid for his future in whatever else he or she does.
Beeb Ashcroft: And you’re quite active in your own local community with youth sports, aren’t you?
Goose Gossage: Oh yeah. I love the kids – some of us never grow up, Beeb, I’m a perfect example of that and baseball has kept me young. I think sports lends a great life lesson to all the kids, and again, it goes back to dealing with that failure part of the game. And you know, food enters into this – Hormel is a perfect product again to, as a team, feed your kids, to prepare them, and to have with that fuel that will sustain them through these sports, it’s so important. I can’t tell you how important sports has been in my life, and I know what a role it played in my success as a person in life, so just give it your best shot – that’s what I tell kids all the time.