A Good-For-You, unique, Trail Mix, for kids and families on the go in just 5-easy steps.
Here is a step-by-step guide.
Plus tips on how to create your own unique mixes, foods to include and foods to avoid in these afternoon treats!
Friday’s we head out to the theme parks and spend the afternoon riding rides and soaking in the beautiful weather. It’s been in the 70’s and absolutely beautiful outside. Florida life!
I always pack-up our snacks. Why?
- It’s expensive to purchase snacks and meals at theme parks (so I don’t)
- I want a healthy snack option for my kids
Today I made a fun snack mix that will fuel the kids with healthy fats and healthy sugars to keep them going at the park all afternoon.
My kids are HUNGRY creatures when I pick them up from school. A healthy snack, not only helps settle their stomachs, but helps to settle them as well.
If we offer sugary snacks, or snacks high in carbohydrates, you might be in for a crazy roller coaster type of afternoon. But the right kinds of food, stabilize their sugar levels, their moods, energy and hunger.
Here is how I made today’s trail mix. Plus some tips on how to create your own unique mixes, foods to include and foods to avoid in these afternoon treats!
First: Choose several of your favorite nuts and mix them together. Today I used pecans, walnuts and almonds. This will be the base or bulk of your mix. Use your kids favorite nuts or ask them to choose their top 2 favorites. Nuts provide unsaturated fats, they are high in omega fatty acids, high in vitamin E and the list goes on and on.
Second: My kids love chocolate! I added mini-dark chocolate chips. I used the 365 brand at Whole Foods that is fair trade. Dark chocolate provides a serious boost in anti-oxidants to this afternoon treat, just make sure you buy a good dark chocolate, not one filled with additives and sugars. Check your ingredients!
Third: Add something sweet, I used unsweetened coconut chips (which are sweet by nature). Dried fruits are also a good option, raisins, chopped dates, dried apricots, etc.
Fourth: Seeds add fiber, protein and health boosting minerals. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pick your favorite and add it in! They are high in good fats and calories giving kids, and us, the energy we need.
Fifth: Add something fun! When I am preparing these snacks for car trips or school I usually omit this part. But on weekends when we are actively outside I like to add fun treats for them. Today I added mini-marshmallows. I buy them at Whole Foods so the ingredients are a little better than your other type of marshmallows, but I use sparingly, and it gives the kids an extra fun treat.
Mix it all together and pack-up in reusable snack bags!
I pack-up trail mixes in these cute reusable silicon tubes. The kids love the colors, makes packing easy, they seal well and it’s more cost effective to reuse these than to continuously purchase plastic zip locks.
Notice, my trail mix staples do not include a mix of pretzels, m&m’s, chex cereal or cheerios. I do not use any industry type of cereals. These are usually loaded with sugar and syrups and I am not using foods that only provide carbohydrates.
I use these types of foods very sparingly and today have chosen to add-in marshmallows, you will only see one of these sugary, high-carb, not-so-good-for-you, options in my mix. I am also very careful and read all ingredients when I am purchasing these kinds of ‘treat’ foods.
I prefer to add my marshmallows to this mix rather then have the kids ask for ice cream or cookies when we are out. This seems to satisfy them well and they won’t ask for other stuff.
Make your own unique snack mixes by incorporating the foods your child prefers:
- Start with a base of nuts your child likes to eat
- Add a little dark chocolate, but you can skip this part if they do not like chocolate
- Find sweet add-ons, like dried fruits and coconut flakes
- Add seeds, one type or lots of different seeds
- Include something fun (every once in a while)!
My favorite mix is dried apricots with pecans and cashews! That’s all I need for my snack mix!
I hope this helps you plan healthy snack options for your family. If you have more ideas of good-for-you foods to include in trail mixes please share in the comments below, I am always searching for good ideas!