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Summertime is synonymous with long walks and leisurely hikes. For a successful activity, it’s important to plan what foods and drinks to pack. That’s why an on-the-go picnic is the ideal option when it comes to all your summer sports outings. To make your next outing even more fun, here are our top nutritionist tips for a delicious and energizing on-the-go picnic! Words by Science & Fourchette

Bring ready-to-eat foods

To simplify your life, pack several small, on-the-go snacks. Opt for easy-to-eat foods that are as mess-free as possible (especially if you’re hiking with the kids!). You can up the fun factor by laying a blanket down on the ground and enjoying your snacks picnic-style. When you’re active, your best bet is to opt for foods that are high in carbohydrates (to energize and fuel your body) and protein (to provide the energy you need in the long-term and to help build/repair your muscles). Avoid foods that are fatty, as they take longer to digest (we’re looking at you, chips!). Such foods aren’t forbidden per say, but they might end up making you feel bloated and uncomfortable. Here are our favourite snacks, the ingredients of which are available at Rachelle Béry: they’re organic, nourishing, and practical!
  • A mix of dried fruits and nuts (and why not add a handful of chocolate chips?)
  • Crackers with vegetarian pepperoni (seitan-based)
  • A flavoured soy beverage (in a tetra pak)
  • Home-made cookies, muffins, or granola bars
  • A banana rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla slathered in peanut butter (2 portions)
  • Fresh, organic fruits with a soy pudding
  • Dried fruits with a soy beverage
  • Mini pitas with nuts and hummus
  • Brown rice cakes with tofu spread
  • Fresh fruits and roasted soybeans
When you’re out and about, it’s not the time to try new foods (this applies to adults and children alike). Choose snacks that you already know and love, that way you’ll avoid any kind of tummy trouble while away from home.

Eat at key moments

At the beginning and in the middle of your activity, opt for snacks that are rich in carbohydrates and that will quickly provide energy to your muscles!

How to manage kids who are constantly saying “I’m hungry”?

To motivate your young hikers, grab your map and point out the spots where you’ll stop to eat. A good rule of thumb is to fuel up every 45 to 60 minutes. For an epic picnic, enjoy your feast once you’ve reached the summit! It’s both a delicious reward and a great opportunity to take in the view! Don’t forget your post-hike snack; opt for one that’s a little higher in protein—it’ll help your body recuperate.

Plan ahead and avoid messes

Before heading out, make sure to:
  • Wash your fruits and veggies
  • Properly pack your food
  • Pack napkins, wet wipes, and disinfectant
To keep your food cool during your hike, use frozen water bottles or juice boxes. It’s a win-win situation, as the frozen beverages will keep your food cold and then you can drink them at the end of your hike! And don’t forget to bring a container to store all your waste!

Remember to hydrate

The one thing to never, ever forget is your water bottle! Without proper hydration, you’ll soon find yourself feeling parched and fatigued. Drinking lots of water allows you to replenish some of the liquid you lose through sweat, and it helps with blood flow, carrying oxygen and energy to your muscles. Start hydrating well before your activity even begins. Then, during your activity, make sure to sip (approximately 125 ml) every 15-20 minutes. If your hike exceeds an hour and your effort level is moderate to high, opt for a sports drink. When your hike is done, celebrate with a festive beverage by combining maple water with a touch of lemon juice and garnishing with cucumber strips. The possibilities are endless when it comes to picnicking during your hike. I hope that these ideas and suggestions will help you take advantage of the sunny days ahead!