Also view: 5 new hot restaurants for after the slopes
When you love skiing and snowboarding, you want your children to love it, too.
Amy and Joey Stoeger had their sons, Alec, 7, and Gunnar, 4, on the slopes by the time each boy was 2.
Amy and Nate Jensen regularly take gentler ski hills with daughter Molly, 2, in a ski backpack and daughter Lucy, 5, harnessed into a double-strap leash to keep her from skiing away. Their other children, 13-year-old Morgan and 11-year-old John, are already accomplished skiers.
And though Rosie and Stephen Boren's son, Frank, won't be hitting the slopes for a while — he's only 6 months old — he goes with his parents on most of their ski days, getting passed around on a rotation system to various friends and relatives who stay with him in the lodge while the rest of the group hits the mountain.
Keeping kids nourished makes a big difference in their ability to enjoy a day skiing or snowboarding, said Rosie Boren, who holds a degree in exercise science.
"One of the most important things is, always stay hydrated," she said. "People don't think about that on the snow, but you sweat a lot so you need to drink a lot."
The Borens typically take a gallon of water onto the slopes with them, find an out-of-the-way spot for it, dig a hole in the snow and stow the jug there, ensuring it will be cold and refreshing when they need it.
"We just come and get a drink whenever we ride by," Rosie Boren said.
For water, Amy Jensen makes sure she always has some on her person.
"I have a CamelBak (a large water pouch with a long straw housed in a backpack) that I can carry all day," she said. "The kids just find me. They usually need a bathroom break at some point, and we make them drink then."
A hearty breakfast
Jensen starts her kids' ski days with a lot of nourishment.
"We usually have a huge breakfast, with hash browns and biscuits and gravy and bacon — a big, hearty, heavy breakfast," she said. "That really helps hold the kids over for a good long time."
Pack a snack
One thing Amy Jensen likes about skiing at Solitude is that the resort's parking is literally right next to the runs, so she can stow snacks and drinks in her car.
"You can just ski over and get a snack," she said.
She also stashes a candy bar in each child's pocket: "That goes a long way, because they always complain about being hungry at about 11 a.m."
Rosie Boren recommends having kids pack a granola bar in their ski pants.
"You need something fast, nothing too heavy or sugary," Rosie Boren said.
Amy Stoeger keeps small snacks in her own pockets for her boys.
"I always have M&Ms or gummies in my pocket," she said. "When they were little, I'd give them little treats on the lifts, especially if they did something good or learned something new.
"Now that they're older, and we're skiing on the big mountain, I bring lunch in a backpack."
That lunch is typically a quick, nutritious one like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, juice boxes and pretzels.
"Sometimes, for a treat, we'll buy a hot chocolate," she said. "Snowbird has these huge rice crispy squares, and if we get one of those, that usually does it for all of us."
New hot restaurants for after the slopes
If you would like a fabulous apres-ski experience, whether you've just hit the slopes or not, here are five of the area's newest ski-area restaurants:
Park City's Silver is becoming known as much for its unique, silver-themed décor as for its upscale, haute-cuisine menu, which features appetizers like oven-roasted olives and venison tartare, as well as entrées like wild mushroom risotto with chianti, coq au vin and goose leg confit and exotic sides like pomegranate-fried Brussels sprouts and cauliflower gratin. Silver, which opened this winter, is open at 5 p.m. daily.
More family-oriented is Cena Ristorante and Lounge, at The Chateaux at Silver Lake. This restaurant, which opened last winter, features unique but accessible food like goat cheese and lemon pizza and a "winter margherita" pie with oven-roasted tomatoes, as well as pasta entrées ranging from spaghetti and meatballs to butternut squash ravioli topped with roasted duck and brown butter sauce. Open 7-11 a.m.-3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch; 5 p.m. for dinner.
Bistro@Canyons, which opened in December, is the first certified kosher restaurant open all season at a U.S. ski resort. But even people who don't eat kosher may be interested in the bistro's creamy smoked cauliflower soup, beef cheek gnocchi, mustard-crusted wild salmon and "chicken 3 ways," which features chicken breast piard, roasted chicken leg, chicken thigh croquetes, smashed potatoes and sous vide baby carrots. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner (special Jewish Sabbath buffet available Friday evenings and Saturday lunch) for the 2011-2012 Canyons ski season, closing April 4.
Daly's Pub & Rec at Montage Deer Valley advertises itself as a "gourmet gastropub" with not only a raft of casual favorites on its menu, but also bowling, billiards, darts and vintage arcade games. The pub has its own display oven for making brick-oven pizzas, as well as offering comfort food like burgers, fish and chips, shepherd's pie and chicken pot pie. Open daily 3-11 p.m.
Escala Provisions Company also opened in December at Park City's Hyatt Escala Lodge.
While some services at Escala Provisions — the small grocery, the availability of packed lunches — are directed right at the Hyatt's guests, the restaurant offers "modern comfort food" like a roasted half chicken or chimichurri skirt steak with sofrito rice. Sharing is encouraged with "small snack" plates of braised black mussels and fondue for two; with comforting desserts like apple gallette or gluten-free hazelnut cappuccino torte. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m.
— compiled by Stacey Kratz