Healthy tips for hunting

How to wisely plan your meals for your hunting trip.

Hunting season is almost here! Hunting trips can be a ton of fun. They give you a break from work and a better chance to connect with nature. However, keeping your energy level high through the day is essential for an effective hunt. Therefore, you need to plan your meals wisely. Keep in mind that you are not going to get a full, home-cooked meal while out in the woods. Better food options are constituted by on-the-go options with little cooking, preparation or clean-up needed and with little residuals or wrappers. Here are some useful tips for your hunting adventure:

  • Bring plenty of water, and try to avoid sugary beverages. It is essential to stay hydrated before going hunting, during and after.
  • If you are camping, remember to keep your food and water in a safe place. Pack foods in tight, waterproof bags or containers. Keep them in an insulated cooler. Separate raw foods from cooked foods.
  • When you are cooking outdoors, it is important to keep in mind food safety guidelines for transporting your food to the site, as well as preparing and serving it safely. Read some more about outdoors food safety procedures.
  • Plan you snacks. When you are moving up and down hills, going through swamps and heavy forest, and enduring either very hot, or very cold weather you are going to need calories!! Pack easy to carry foods: Trail mix, nuts, seeds, nut-based bars or nut butter packs, dried or freeze-dried fruits and veggies, energy bars, chews or gels are some examples.

Many of the snacks that hunters often bring along are, candy bars and cookies, these food contain a high amount of sugar, which will give them a lift of energy at first, but after a while it will make them feel tired as the sugar wears off. Hunters need to stay alert for longer periods. Here are other healthy snack ideas that will give you the nutrients and energy you need to give your best during the hunting:

  • Cucumber slices: Composed of 95 percent water, the cucumber is a highly hydrating and delicious food. Cucumber slices are a perfect dipping tool to scoop up some hummus.
  • Bananas: This fruit full of potassium and magnesium is an ideal way to get your electrolytes up.
  • Almonds: Take a bag of almonds, it stabilizes your blood sugar levels and it will help you if you start to feel weak.
  • Peanut butter and jelly whole wheat sandwich: whole grains are going to make you feel fuller and satisfied for a longer time.
  • Different types of jerky are very popular for hunters but it is important to take into account this food is high in fats and sodium. A healthier option is the venison jerky which is a leaner but still high in sodium. So, moderate your intake.

Have a safe hunt and keep yourself, family and friends well-nourished!

Following the above tips are healthy and easy ways towards a balanced diet. If you would like to learn more about heathy lifestyles, visit United States Department of Agriculture’s My Plate page. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating. For more health and nutrition tips, visit Michigan State University Extension.

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