Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Useful kid food rules for day hikes

Whenever going on a day hike with children, be sure to bring along snacks. Kids who exert energy will get hungry, and they’ll probably need to take in some nourishment to keep going.

Great snacks to bring include trail mix, granola bars, dried or peeled fruit, beef jerky and crackers. A picnic lunch also can be fun, though it’ll require carrying more food in your backpack.

Some basic food guidelines to follow when day hiking with kids include:
g Bring lots of different kinds of food that your children like – You never know what your children might be in the mood to eat, and that they eat is better than not at all.
g Don’t try new foods – Kids can be finicky, so bring something you know they’ll eat. Try out new trail mix recipes before leaving for the trail.
g Keep eating times consistent with those at home – If you have a regular morning snack time or will be hiking during lunch, offer food during at about the same time when on the trial. Kids’ stomachs are accustomed to eating at those times. At the same time, however, when kids get hungry, feed them regardless of the time.
g Remember adult food – You don’t want to end up eating goldfish crackers and kid-sized nutrition bars because it won’t fill you. Consider bringing whole fruit and hardboiled eggs for yourself.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.