If you are getting ready for a skiing or snowboarding holiday, chances are you have a long list of items to pack. Have you thought about food? Having just finished my second snowboarding trip for the year, I can tell you that snow holidays can be expensive at the best of times, especially if travelling with children. Planning your food choices ahead and being prepared with snacks can save you money on the mountain, spare you from the agony of tired hungry kids, plus ensure that you are still able to meet your main nutritional goals for maintaining energy levels and meeting nutritional requirements. Here are some tips to help you plan:
- Your energy requirements may be 10-15% higher when skiing or snowboarding at high altitude. This is due to constriction of blood vessels and an increased rate of breathing. You might find this leaves you hungrier than normal.
- Its easy to forget you are thirsty when it is so cold. Additionally, your increased breathing at high altitude plus sweating will increase your fluid requirements. Consider takinga Camelbak as it is easy to become dehydrated when active on the mountain. You can also use this to store small snacks. You should also be able to access cups of water from the rest stops but these stations can take some time to reach after you already feel thirsty.
- You use more carbohydrates. Your muscles store carbohydrate as fuel reserves but if you don't refuel properly these can become quite depleted leaving you feeling fatigued after hours on the slopes. Food eaten before heading out for the day should provide carbohydrate. It should also be low in fat and moderate in fibre to make digestion easier and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort while skiing or snowboarding. It is also useful to continue to consider other nutritional goals such as including foods that include protein, vitamins and minerals.
The following foods are suitable to eat 3-4 hours before going out: • crumpets with jam or honey + flavoured milk
• baked potato + cottage cheese filling + glass of milk
• baked beans on toast
• breakfast cereal with milk
• bread roll with cheese/meat filling + banana
• fruit salad with fruit-flavoured yoghurt
• pasta or rice with a sauce based on low-fat ingredients (e.g. tomato, vegetables, lean meat)
Use the pockets in your jacket or pants to take some portable energising snacks, or leave a bag in a locker with some pre-planned foods and avoid relying on the deep fried foods that are widely available from the cafeteria style rest stations. If travelling to international ski resorts such as Japan, the supermarket foods may be unfamiliar or unrecognisable from the packaging so I have found that taking some staples from home is recommended, though it is a bit fun trying mysterious new foods!
Useful Food Items To Take With You • cereal bars • Nut bars • Beef jerky (If travelling to Japan you cannot take this through customs even if unopened.) • Sultana boxes or dried fruit • Vegemite, jam or honey sandwich • breakfast cereal • canned snack pack fruits • dried fruit • instant noodles • jam, honey, peanut butter, Vegemite • powdered sports drink • powdered or liquid meal supplements • concentrated fruit juice
• baked beans and spaghetti
I have found that when hitting the slopes for the day, only taking small change is preferable to larger amounts. The hot meals no matter how greasy or how yellow seem to have a much greater appeal when you are cold, hungry and fatigued...If you have your own food there you will eat it. Perhaps you could treat yourself instead to a hot milk based drink such as a hot chocolate or coffee and thank yourself later!