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Winter Snack Ideas

By Kim McDevitt, MPH RD on December 20, 2013

Winter Snack Ideas

While the shorter days and frigid temperatures can sometimes make winter a tough season, there are many cold weather activities that make the negative aspects of winter worthwhile. I personally love skiing, snowboarding, hiking, sledding, and ice skating and have fond memories of hitting the slopes with family and friends.

Even though you may love those activities, you can probably also resonate with the feeling of being bitter cold to the core, the mid-hike hunger pangs, and working up a serious appetite after a day on the slopes.

When preparing to head out for a cold weather excursion, nutrition is key. Be sure to eat before, during and after your activity to keep your energy up and help your body stay warm. A nice balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat is the perfect mix.

So, what should you grab to eat as you rush out the door for first tracks or when you’re making turns down the mountain and hunger strikes? Below are my top four winter snacks for winter activities.


Perfect for so many reasons, gluten-free oats are a great source of slow-burning carbohydrates and fiber, giving you lasting energy. Try making a batch in your slow cooker so when you wake up you can simply top with some fresh fruit and nuts. This warm-to-the-core cozy breakfast is not only quick and nutritious, but also filling.

Trail Mix

An easy D.I.Y: a simple trail mix that’s easily stashed in your pockets and accessible any time hunger strikes. Aim for a combination of nuts and fruit to give you both immediate and sustained energy. My favorite combo? Roasted almonds and walnuts, dried cherries, mango, and semi-sweet chocolate.

Energy Bites

While you can definitely grab a pre-made bar, I think it’s fun to whip up your own energy bites or protein bars to pack for your outing. Look for a recipe that gives you quick energy from fruits and lasting energy from a fat or protein.

Nut butter and jam sandwich

Tried and true, a nut butter and jam sandwich is an old standby for a reason. When you combine sprouted whole grain bread with jam and nut butter you get a quick energy boost, easy digestion and lasting go-power—a perfect combination for a long day of sport. Plus, it’s quick to make, easy to pack, and tasty to eat.

Remember that long days of winter activity require a lot of energy and fuel is essential. While grab-and-go snacks will keep your energy consistent, a well-balanced meal at some point during the day is essential to your energy and wellbeing. Don’t forget that while food is key, hydration is just as important. Make sure you’re reaching for water throughout the day!

How do you fuel your cold weather activities? Comment below!