Health(ier) Mountainside Meals

Chicken Fingers. Clam Chowder. French Fries. Not to mention hefty price tags. Ahhh, lunch time has arrived at the ski lodge! This winter weather in New England and beyond means families are out and about on the slopes more than ever. How can you make sure your meals mountainside don’t go downhill?

Plan Ahead: Your ability to plan ahead depends on whether this trip is a day trip or a multiple day get-a-way. If possible, shop ahead of time and keep healthy choices in the rental or hotel fridge. Make the most of breakfast; it will set you up nicely for the day ahead. Good breakfast ideas include carbohydrates which will help provide energy throughout the day; go for an omelet with whole grain toast or hot oatmeal w/ fruit.

Bring your own: An active day means replenishing your muscles with a balanced intake of carbohydrates. Include carbohydrates higher in fiber like including whole grains and fruits with edible skins (apple, pears, berries). Replace electrolytes with trail mix, packed ahead time. Tip: Trader Joe’s sells some great pre-portioned nut mixes, my favorite is the “omega trek mix. Other ideas include KIND bars or Cabot 80 calorie cheese squares (keep cold in jacket pocket).

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Filling the cooler: Base: Whole grain bread, whole grain wraps. Fillers: Lean deli turkey or ham, chicken breast. Accents: Avocado, Low Fat cheese; there are always condiments at the lodge. Sides: Carrots, celery, nuts, peanut butter, apple, pears, clementines, oranges, berries. Bring whole grain chips and salsa as a good on the go snack. Make sure to bring plenty of water!

Keep these snacks on hand: Consuming some carbohydrate (bread, cereal, rice, pasta, fruit) and protein (meat, nuts, dairy) during skiing or snowboarding can help minimize muscle damage compared to not snacking throughout a day. Nobody wants to miss a great run for an overpriced snack in a ski lodge or mountain restaurant-so stock your jacket pockets the night before with these easy ideas: PB&J, Hard-Boiled Eggs, KIND or LARA bars, Peanuts, mixed nuts, cashews, Cabot 80 calorie cheese slices, Apples.

In a bind(ing): Most ski resorts always offer a salad option, which is healthy. If you can buy (or bring) a sandwich, adding vegetables, lean meat, and changing white bread to whole grain bread are easy ways to make your lunch that much healthier. Skip the hot line, it only leads to trouble (an extra calories)!

Skylar’s Bottom Line: Hungry kids (and adults) are whiny kids and more often than not cold kids. Generally young kids don’t really want to stop skiing so carry pocket snacks to prevent any “nutrition slips and falls.”

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