October 24, 2018

Have you noticed a connection between what your child eats and how she behaves? Every parent knows the effect of sugary treats. But energy blasts don't matter once you start walking. You might even pack an energy-intense treat for your bushwalking adventure.

Toddlers have small stomachs and burn a lot of energy, so a few snacks can easily substitute one bigger meal. Karina Savage, the paediatric dietitian from Sydney, says that snacks can provide up to 50% of children's nutrition.

Food known to your child is the best

Nutrient-rich, entertaining, lightweight... there are many adjectives for snacks when it comes to a day trip. The rule of thumb is that you don't introduce a new food. Especially with fussy eaters, carry only food which your child knows and eats.

We also recommend minimising packaging. Take a cute bento box only if your child won't eat from anything else. A cling wrap, a resealable plastic bag or a paper snack bag are lightweight and don't take extra space.

When you go hiking, take for your child a snack from each of the following categories: Filling, Energising, Calming. The best snacks for hiking with a toddler are:


Nutrient-rich food which slowly releases energy.

  • Whole grain wraps
  • Cubed cheese
  • Carrots
  • Sourdough bread with cheese (authentic sourdough!)
  • Wholegrain bread with avocado
  • Chopped veg with hummus


The food which gives your little one the energy boost when it is needed.

  • Fresh fruit
  • Sultanas (63% of sugar and moderate GI will supercharge your children)
  • Homemade banana bread
  • Homemade fruit muffins


Sometimes it feels, that you will not walk any further. Your child says that (s)he has enough. That's the time for a baby hiking carrier and a calming food.

  • Banana
  • Nuts
  • Oat bars
  • Favourite crackers
  • Emergency lollipop (well hidden)

Have you noticed that there are no rice cakes, no chocolate bars and no tiny teddies? Rice cakes look healthy and practical, but low nutrients and high GI disqualify them almost instantly. Chocolate melts on hotter days. Pack your food smartly to get the most of your family hike.

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