Kids can get pretty hungry on a hike. But some foods are no good in such a situation. It can be a challenge trying to find the perfect balance. A good hiking snack should be healthy, energizing, and lightweight. With kids, it's very important for snacks to be tasty as well. Otherwise, they are just not going to eat them and there's no point. As a former nanny turned homeschool mom, I have found the best hiking snacks for kids are those we make ourselves.
No, we're not talking those sugary concoctions they sell in the store. You can make your own snack bars for the kids. They'll taste better and be healthier too! That's a win-win for parents and kids both. First, spread about 2 cups of oats on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Next, take another baking sheet and line it with recycled aluminum foil. Grease the pan.
Mix together (in a bowl) the oats, 2 eggs, a cup brown sugar, 1tbsp canola oil, ½ cup almonds, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 tbsp flour, and 1 cup chopped dried fruit of choice. Spread this mixture out flat onto the baking sheet and put in oven for 20-30 minutes (until lightly browned). Let it cool and cut into even bars. Pack them along for a lightweight, energizing, and tasty snack for the kids.
Once again, this won't be a store-bought selection. Give your kids a tasty treat with less of the unhealthy stuff and more flavor and healthiness. Many foods can be used to create unique trail mix. Plain, cereals, such as Cheerios, are great for trail mix. Pretzels, nuts, and various dried fruits can also go into it. A healthy trail mix should include a variety of ingredients that balance together.
To make any of the below trail mix combinations, simply combine equal amounts of ingredients in a portable container. Be sure to use a container that is lightweight, easy to pack, and convenient to eat from. Let the kids help in making the trail mix. For fun, they can seal the container and shake it up. This blends the ingredients in a fun way. Hey, adults might like to loosen up and shake the trail mix, too! C'mon, it's fun! You know you want to!
Cereal Trail Mix Ingredients
Nutty Trail Mix Ingredients
Hearty Trail Mix Ingredients
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Most children cringe when they hear the words, "Eat it. It's good for you." I've got some recipes that will change your children's thoughts of what healthy means.
Here's what I throw into this hearty trail mix I make for my kids. You'll need a gallon-sized storage bag for this. Freezer bags work best because they hold heavier ingredients.
1. 1 large bag of Pecans
2. 1 small bag of peanuts (Add more if peanuts are favored in your house. We prefer other nuts more.)
3. 1 medium bag of cashews
4. one-half bag of pretzels
5. one-half bag of dried cranberries
6. one bag of sunflower nuts (without the shells)
7. one bag of pumpkin nuts/seeds (without the shells)
8. one bag of spicy sesame sticks
9. one half bag of carob chips (like chocolate chips, but way less sugar)
10. one half bag of butterscotch carob chips
11. one half bag of yogurt covered raisins
12. one small bag dried banana chips
You can also add any dried fruit or nut that your kids like to personalize it.
Just throw all the ingredients into the storage bag and shake.
This makes for an easy and healthy snack to send to school with your child for snack time, works as an after school snack, and is also great for nature walks and camping. This is a versatile snack that is packed with protein, carbs, and fruits for superb energy and also for making sure your child gets those fruits in. Be careful. This can be an addicting snack. Once you make it, they'll ask for it again and again.
This is something that should be kept around every day.
For this one, you should purchase a chips and salsa tray that has two salsa compartments, although we won't use it for chips and salsa. It works well for this snack.
Here's what you need:
1. raw celery
2. raw carrots
4. cheddar and/or mozzarella cheese brick
5. plain yogurt
6. fat free ranch dressing
7. raw broccoli florets
8. raw cauliflower florets
9. raw sugar snap peas or snow peas
10. raw string beans
11. smashed or blended strawberries (just a few for flavoring)
12. sliced honeydew melon
13. sliced watermelon
14. sliced apples
Cut up all the vegetables and slice the cheese. Arrange it all around the sides of the tray.
In a separate dish, pour in some yogurt (slightly under enough to fill one of the dipping sections of your tray) and mix in the smashed strawberries. Now pour the mixture into one of the dipping sections of the tray.
Next, pour some fat free ranch into the other dipping section of your tray.
The yogurt mixture is for dipping the fruits. The ranch section is for dipping the vegetables.
When the kids home from school, set out this tray. It's also a good thing to have out during dinner preparation. Many people get hungry while dinner is being made and tend to snack because the aromas of the food make them hungry. At least this way, the snack will be healthy.
For a funny family activity, you could challenge family members to see who is brave enough to dip the veggies in the fruit dip and the fruit into the ranch. This can be hilarious and gets the family interacting with each other.
All you need is a blender, some orange or lime sherbet, and 3 of your child's favorite fruits.
Toss it all into the blender. Blend for about 2 minutes and there you go.
The sherbet provides the thick, frozen consistency needed and the fruit provides the nutrition.
Pita Pocket O' Fun
My kids love this.
You'll need an open pita pocket for each kid.
Just supply an array of fruits and trail mix or an array of vegetables and meat. Let your child select what they want and pack it in. Just remember that when using the meat, the child must have vegetables. They can't choose just meat.
Kids enjoy this one because they get to choose what they want.
Make Up Your Own
Now that you have an idea of the types of snacks kids enjoy, you may be thinking up your own ideas. Go ahead and experiment. Kids love variety, so it's important to try new things often. If you don't give your kids new and different options often enough, they will become picky eaters. Now, put all those creative ideas to use and start snacking. Your kids are sure to be hungry after school, so that's the best time to try new ideas. If you come up with a really good one, be sure to write your own article and share the link in the comments section.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
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