27 December 2022
When going on hikes with the children, it is important to take foods that they can eat to keep their energy levels up and allow them to keep up with the pace. It can be hard to know what to pack in order to give them the best slow release energy options over the course of the hike. There are many different foods that you can give to your child to ensure they're getting the nutrients and energy they need during their hike and we have included some examples below.
Give your child an energy bar instead of fruit snacks or sugary food items for their lunch. This will ensure that they have enough energy to make it through the hike, and that they won't become unreasonably tired or uncomfortable during it. If you’re exceedingly lucky, it may even prevent them from becoming grumpy about the amount of walking they are doing, though we obviously can’t guarantee this!
You can give trail mix to your child instead of sweets or crisps to tide them over until lunchtime. These are all good sources of energy because they have carbohydrates and protein. Some great examples are chocolate-covered raisins or peanuts as the slow release of energy is a good way of sustaining them throughout their hiking efforts.
An apple or a banana will provide a good energy boost during a hard hiking session and this should help them to power on through the walk. You should be careful to ensure that you aren’t pushing them beyond their abilities though or asking them to walk an unreasonable amount for their age.
Cold meats like cooked ham, turkey and the like are very versatile and you can eat them plain or give them a sandwich with some cheese and maybe an egg. These kinds of sandwiches have protein that will help your child stay energised. This is a good source if your child wants something more than just fruit and nuts.
If they need to keep the energy going through the longest parts of the hike, you can give them cheese and crackers too. These are quite compact and easily transportable, as well as being a good source of energy to help them keep up.
All of the above foods are excellent for providing good amounts of energy but something that is just as important as the kinds of foods to bring is the amount of water that is being consumed.
For children this should be between 250ml and 500ml for every hour of hiking and adults should be consuming 500ml per hour of hiking. This is important for staying hydrated and alert, which can make it easier to successfully plot routes and avoid pitfalls along the way. It means that for a 4 hour hike, the minimum amount of water for an adult should be 2 litres and the minimum for a child should be 1 litre.
The amount of water required obviously depends on the weather conditions and if it is a lot hotter and more humid the need for water could double.