We love a good snack when we’re out and about on our nature play adventures, so we asked our good friend and nutritionist Liz Mendelawitz for some tips on something healthy to take with us! Here’s what she had to say:
Thinking about snacks for a family hike in our Great Outdoors, or even a trip to your local park? While tempting to opt for the convenience of store-bought food, making your own is not only easy but often more budget-friendly and you’ll know exactly what’s in it. There will be less plasticky packaging to dispose of, plus there is a genuine sense of satisfaction when you reach into your backpack and find a homemade, healthy snack to enjoy! Even a simple homemade peanut butter and jam sandwich can outshine a sugary store-bought muesli bar.
Involving the kids in food prep can kick-start the hiking excitement at home, and may be a task that older children can manage on their own.
Here’s a simple trail mix recipe you may like to try.
Healthy Trail Mix Recipe
- 1 ½ cups raw or roasted nuts e.g. almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, peanuts etc
- 1 cup raw seeds e.g. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened dried fruit
- Fun bits: ½ cup chopped dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa mass is best for keeping sugar low), or 1 cup popped popcorn or plain/low sugar cereal puffs (you can find these in the health food aisle), or broken rice cakes
- Spices: ½ tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, ½ tsp ginger powder
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in a reusable air-tight container for up to one month (but it won’t last that long!).
Optional: mix with 2 Tbsp maple syrup, spread out on a baking tray to air dry before popping into a container.
Nut-free? No problem.
Simply swap the nuts for any combination of banana chips, more seeds (roasted and salted seeds make a nice flavour contrast), coconut flakes, crunchy low-sugar cereal, or nut-free granola.
A word of caution:
Popcorn and whole nuts pose a choking hazard for children aged 4 years old and under. This recipe is more suitable for older kids and adults. While rambunctious play is heaps of fun, ensure young children are sitting relatively still while eating or drinking.