Children's Hospital Colorado

How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for a Day of Skiing or Snowboarding

A skier going down a mountain

Depending on your weight and the terrain that you ski, you may burn between 400-750 calories per hour of downhill and cross-country skiing. Here are some tips for making the most of your lunch on the slopes:

Types of food to eat

  • A good supply of carbohydrates that will keep your muscles fueled all day.
  • Some salty foods, fruits and nuts for electrolytes.
  • Protein, mostly from leaner sources, and a little fiber that will keep your body feeling well fed but not sleepy.

Examples of foods to pack for the day

  • Turkey and cheese, or peanut butter with jam or honey on whole grain bread - you may need two sandwiches.
  • Portable fruit or vegetables: oranges or cuties, dried fruit such as raisins and apricots, ready-washed bag of snap peas.
  • Crunchy/salty snack: pretzels, pop chips, tortilla chips.

Snacks? Think hearty and portable

  • Cereal bars with protein.
  • Trail mix with your favorite foods-nuts, seeds, cereal, dried fruit, chocolate bits, mini pretzels or any of these things by themselves.
  • You will be burning plenty of calories so hot chocolate or a cookie and low fat milk is a great treat on a cold, high-energy expenditure day.

Stay hydrated

  • To avoid dehydration and increased potential for altitude sickness, be sure to stop for fluid breaks.
  • Drink lots of water. Juice and milk are also good options.
  • An indicator of hydration is urine color and volume. Aim for light yellow and decent volume when you go to bathroom. Otherwise, it’s time to take a rest and tank up with some water, juice or a sports drink.

Learn more about sports nutrition.