From start to finish is how long it takes to create The Ultimate DIY Trail Mix. This comes in handy for my boys who enjoy variety and aren’t fan of cold cuts and sandwiches.
Summer weather for us means spontaneous trips to the spray park to cool off after preschool or exploring local trails especially in Millcreek Ravine for some shade. I have had to get creative with packing snacks that don’t require several containers especially when I am short on time and when I have zero desire to lug around a backpack filled to the brim while exploring.
One of my go-to snacks is homemade trail mix – it’s easy to make and many of the ingredients are probably already sitting in the cupboard. It’s also easily customizable to accommodate intolerances or allergies.
My boys love helping gather their ingredients and choosing what goes into their little trail mix snack pack. We follow a simple formula of five ingredients – Snacks, Protein, Dried Fruit/Veggies, Cereal and Sweets.
I have my boys place one cup of the first four ingredients into a large bowl or container then only a quarter of sweets and mix. Scoop half a cup or a full cup into a reusable snack bag for each child and voila – the ultimate diy trail mix in ten minutes.
Here are some of our favorite ingredients:
Snacks – Annie’s cheddar crackers/bunnies, rice crackers/thins, goldfish crackers, pretzels and pretzel sticks, Love Child Organics Owlies, animal crackers, Nature’s Path EnviroKids Corn Puffs and graham crackers.
Tip: including crackers in a variety of different shapes and animals makes it fun and enjoyable for the little ones.
Protein – roasted chickpeas (bbq flavored is our favorite), yogurt melts, popcorn, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, brazilian nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, and jerky bites.
Tip: roast your own chickpeas/nuts and have your littles help out or checkout your local Costco for some ideas on mixed nuts or seeds. We are a nut free household so seeds and roasted beans are a great substitute for protein in our trail mix. Our current favorite are the Organic Coconut Clusters with super seeds – pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds. We also enjoy the Good Bean Chickpeas.
Dried Fruit or Veggies – banana chips, apple chips, coconut chips, Love Child Organic Love Ducks, dried mango, yogurt covered raisins, raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps.
Tip: Sometimes the boys will want two dried fruit/veggies, like banana chips and pea crisps – so I do half a cup of banana chips and half a cup of pea crisps for a total of one cup.
Cereal – Love Child Organics Toodle-O’s, Cheerios, Chex, Corn Flakes, crisp cereals, granola, kamut puffs, rice cereals and gluten free cereals. Tip: Our favorite are cereal blends that have a variety of crunchy textures like the Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Honey Gluten Free Cereal. Look for cereal that contain ingredients like quinoa or flaxseed for the extra protein.
Sweets – chocolate chips, licorice pieces, marshmallows, M&M’s, seasonal candy, or break apart some of your kid’s favorite candy bars.
Tip: My personal favorite are dark chocolate quinoa crisps – only a small handful though.
My boys love helping create this ultimate trail mix and we always put together a new big batch at the beginning of the week to have on hand during our spontaneous trips to explore outside after preschool or simply for those rushed mornings trying to pack a snack for preschool.
My boys current favorite mixture – Pretzels, Coconut Clusters, Banana Chips, Roasted Chickpeas, Cheerios, Chocolate Chips and Licorice Pieces.
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