February 27, 2018
The young explorers are happy (or sometimes not that happy) to follow their parents in the outdoors. Depending on the personality and the energy level of the young explorer, the moving pace can be pretty high or painfully slow. But what should we feed these young explorers?
Nutrition Concern #1:
Young explorers can be very attuned to his/her hunger cues or too excited to be in the outdoors and forget about eating.
Parents of the young explorers should plan food liked by young explorers. Although treats are OK, they should not be used to encourage the young explorer to reach a given target (top of the mountain, hut, viewpoint, etc.), as this would be using food as a reward. Providing small snacks at frequent intervals will help to keep a high energy level (and hopefully a good mood too).
Nutrition Concern #2:
Young explorers typically sweat less than the older ones (before puberty), but they still need to hydrate. Not having access to restrooms and the cold weather can be reasons to restrict liquids.
Parents should encourage their young explorers to drink if they notice that their young ones are too busy having fun in the outdoors and forget about hydrating.
Example of menu for a family adventure on snowshoes (9:30 AM-2PM):
|Morning snack (10:30 am)||1 Fig, hazelnut and chocolate energy balls (taste just like Nutella)||Pack a thermos with hot drink (hot chocolate or warm diluted fruit juice) as well as water.|
|Lunch (11:30 am)||Half a sandwich made with lettuce, turkey and cranberry sauce.|
|Afternoon snack (1 pm)||1 clementine|
A consistent breakfast, a satisfying dinner at home as well as snacks on the way back home (not responsible for the mess in the car though!) are definitely be needed to complete this menu. Extra snacks on the trail might also be needed.
This menu represents only a generic example and might not meet your specific needs. If you need specific advice for a particular condition or trip, please reach out to me.
Have fun and stay safe out there!
Gen Masson, MSc, RD, CD