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FUEL UP by c andy sagon


To Pack, or Not to Pack? Choosing the right foods for your kids’ next camp-out.


HEALTHY FOOD PLAYS a big role in a successful camp-out. But making the right choices for you and your boys can be tricky. Camping and Scout experts Tim


and Christine Conners of Statesboro, Ga., say choosing the wrong food items for energy and nutrition is a


PACK


PACK: High antioxidant nuts such as raw or dry-roasted almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.


PACK: Agave syrup, which is absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream and mixes better with liquids.


PACK: Vitamin-packed dried blue- berries, acai, cranberries, or mango (preferably unsulfured and no added sugar).


PACK: Antioxidant-filled dark chocolate M&M’s or chips in do-it-yourself trail mix.


PACK: Baked, lower-salt chips (pita or whole-grain SunChips).


common mistake. The authors of The Scout’s Outdoor Cookbook, the Conners frequently take 50-mile bike rides with their four kids, and Tim helps plan the food and coordinate the camping trips for their sons’ Scout troop. They say campers often overlook the importance of snacks that provide


protein and complex carbohydrates to maintain energy during high-endur- ance outings. Your snacks, they emphasize,


“should pack a nutritional punch.” So when drawing up your list, here are some “pack, don’t pack” tips from the experts:


DON’T PACK


DON’T PACK: Oily, overly salty peanuts.


DON’T PACK: White sugar or artificial syrups made from corn or cane.


DON’T PACK: Raisins or other sulfured and pro- cessed dried fruit.


DON’T PACK: Packaged trail mix with milk choco- late or white chocolate.


DON’T PACK: High-sodium, high-fat potato chips (they can make you even thirstier).


PACK: Low-fat or lower-salt hot dogs. Top-ranked by Consumer Reports: Hebrew National Kosher Reduced Fat Beef Franks, Boar’s Head Lite Skinless Beef Franks, Oscar Mayer Light Beef Franks, and Ball Park Lite Franks.


PACK: High-fiber, regular instant oatmeal (add your own fruit for sweetness).


60 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2010


DON’T PACK: Regular dogs (two contain close to half a day’s salt).


TO-DO LIST


THE MOTHER OF three boys, New York dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix has authored a new book on food labels—Read It Before You Eat It—that led her to check the nutritional content of many popular food products. She offers this advice for both Scout leaders and their Scouts:


GO NUTS. They’re full of heart-healthy substances such as unsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. They’re also high in fiber, which helps you feel full. Almonds and walnuts are particularly heart-healthy.


EAT OATMEAL. The most recent 2008 study reaffirms what experts have been saying since the 1980s: Oatmeal helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Avoid the sugary, flavored kind and add your own dried fruit plus nuts for crunch and protein.


WATCH THE SALT. A 2010 study by the Institute of Medicine says that the sodium level in many processed foods is unsafe and contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Check the labels before buying too many packaged foods and treats.


DON’T PACK: Sugary dried cereal that will leave you hungry an hour later.


REMEMBER CALCIUM. If possible, take cheese, yogurt, or milk along on overnights, says Taub-Dix. The calcium and vitamin D in these foods will help strengthen growing bones. ¿


ROGER MORGAN (7)


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