I’d like to think that I’m the kind of parent who knows exactly what her kids should eating at any given time, and how much. The kind of parent who’ll—for example—whip up homemade date-and-nut energy bars or lemon sports drink before heading out on the trail or slopes. Or like the French parents in the red hot bestseller Bringing up Bebe, who only let their kids snack once a day. Très bien!
But the truth is, I'm still learning to cook, and most days it’s hard enough to get two young girls and their gear out the door. So I settle with stuffing so-called “healthy, organic" store-bought bars, cheese sticks, and dried fruit into their packs, which I then shamelessly use as bribes: “Let’s walk out to the river overlook,” I said yesterday in gale force winds on a hike above the Rio Grande, “and you can have some snap pea crisps when we get there!” And juice boxes? Guilty. Only in our house, we call it “river juice” or “adventure juice" in an attempt to limit it to true outdoor epics.