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The Brave Ski Mom - Feeding the Family on a Ski Holiday


“Hey mom! What’s for dinner?”

There are times when I dread this question. Not because I don’t enjoy cooking for my family, but because sometimes I’m tired, I’ve had a busy day and frankly, I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen.

Nowhere is that more true than on a ski holiday, when what I really want to be doing is sipping hot chocolate with my kids near a fire. Yet skiing makes families hungry and whether we like it or not, families turn to mothers when it’s suppertime.

Options Abound

Before we get too deep into a discussion of ski vacation dining, there is a question that must be answered: where are you staying?
Depending upon your lodging, you may have meals included (even in North America, we’re finding more lodging options with breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner included). If so, count yourself one lucky mom!
If not, take some time before leaving home to do some planning.

Plan Ahead. Eat Well. Be Happy.

If you’re staying in a hotel without cooking facilities make dinner reservations before you arrive on vacation. Winter weekends and holiday weeks, such as Christmas and Spring Break, are notoriously busy. After a fun day of family skiing and snowboarding, the last thing most of us want is to wait for 30-45 minutes with a tired and hungry five, or fifteen, year-old.

Do a bit of research on resort websites. Many resorts offer family activities like sleighride dinners or snowshoe treks to a meal at a remote yurt. By planning ahead, you can reserve your spaces and no one will be disappointed.
Most importantly, if you make reservations for every night of your holiday, you can eliminate long waits and the inevitable discussion about where to go for dinner. Suddenly dining out becomes a pleasure, not a chore. If you’re staying in a private home or condominium with a kitchen, you have other options. But we think it’s still important to plan ahead.
Here are some tips:

1) Make a List: Before leaving home, gather recipes together or save them online. Make a shopping list. Pre-measure and bring spices with you. Don’t assume you’ll have a fully-stocked kitchen. Keep it simple.

2) First Stop, Shopping: If possible, shop the day of your arrival. It’s so much easier when you’re not trying to shoehorn a trip to the market into a ski day. It’s also so much more fun to end a ski day by returning to a warm condo with hot chocolate, snacks and your dinner ingredients at the ready.

Some condos and homes have a service where you provide a list and someone will shop for you. If you’re comfortable with this added expense, it definitely is an added convenience.

3) The Indispensable Slow Cooker: This tip doesn’t work so well if you’re flying on holiday. But if you’re driving and you have room, tuck a trusty slow cooker (Crock Pot) into the trunk of your car. Search for recipes online, gather the ingredients and assemble the meal in the morning. Turn on the cooker. By afternoon, your condo or home will smell divine and you’ll be your own hero.

Tips for Breakfast and Lunch
While breakfast is often included at hotels and lodges, there’s no guarantee. We have long traveled with coffee, cream, sugar and oatmeal. Bring your family’s favorite toppings (brown sugar, nuts, chocolate chips and dried fruit) and purchase yogurts when you arrive. If you’re flying, pick up these items, or other family favorites, at the market when you arrive.
Borrow bowls, plates, flatware and napkins from the hotel, or bring disposable items from home.

Having ingredients for quick and easy breakfasts in your room saves time and money and allows everyone to eat when they’re hungry (or sleep in without missing a meal).

Lunch is a bit more tricky. If you’re on mountain, that’s where you’ll likely dine. Some families like to take a long lunch; others barely stop.
If you’re in the second category, make sandwiches or quesadillas in the morning and pack some snacks (bring plastic bags from home). Look for picnic tables near lodges and at viewpoints along the trails. If it’s a cold day, inquire about “brown bag” areas where you can eat your food without making a purchase.

Just don’t skip lunch or let your kids skip lunch. Taking a break for a midday meal and hydration, whether the break is short or long, is critical for family ski fun.

Don’t go hungry!

Hailing from Colorado (USA) Kristen Lummis, or as she is better known, the Brave Ski Mom, is an avid skier and true family mum in every sense of the word. www.thebraveskimom.com

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