A lot of these hiking snacks for kids are things that are totally buyable in stores. But if you’re feeling adventurous and you want to add a personal touch to your child’s early hiking experiences, check out these recipes.
Courtesy of Wellness Mama
Granola bars or energy bars are always a staple for some quick energy turnaround. Highly portable and not too messy, these options are also great for children with dietary restrictions.
One of the pros to making your own energy bars is YOU control all the ingredients! You can be sure your kids are eating something healthy that’s free of preservatives and other artificial ingredients.
- ⅓ cup nuts (cashews, almonds, etc) Reminder: peanuts are not nuts!
- ¼ cup whole dates (remove pits)-about 3 large dates
- ¼ cup raisins (or more dates)
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
- Put nuts into food processor (or Vitamix) and chop to small pieces. Remove and put in bowl.
- Put dates and raisins (any combination of the two that equals ½ cup total) into the food processor and pulse until playdough consistency. It will start to clump together when it is done.
- Mix the two ingredients by hand until well incorporated and you have the consistency of stiff playdough or cookie dough. (You can do this all in the food processor also.)
- Roll between two sheets of wax paper to a ½ inch thickness and cut into bars. (Or make it really easy and just roll into energy balls!)
- Wrap in wax paper, plastic wrap or snack size ziploc bags (or glass containers if you aren’t giving to kids) and store in fridge until ready to use.
Frozen Banana Protein Smoothies To Go
Courtesy of Rhythm of the Home
The double benefit of these smoothies is that they are a great way to have a cool down break in the warmer weather! Heather Fontenot from rhythm of the home uses freezer jars like these that are BPA-free. You can keep them in the freezer and pack them as you head out for your hike. You’ll be glad you have them as a treat!
- 2 bananas (we freeze our bananas to keep for smoothies, but frozen or not are fine)
- 3 cups milk (we use almond)
- 2 tbsp cocoa nibs
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup dates (pits removed)
- 1 tbsp ground chia
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raw almond butter
- Add all ingredients into a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix, and process until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into freezable containers, and allow to set over night.
- In the morning, simply throw into a lunchbox or hiking pack, and enjoy whenever you need a cold break.
Homemade Fruit Leather Recipe
Courtesy of Penniless Parenting
Fruit leather is good for a quick snack option on the trail. Penny points out that the best part about making your own fruit leather is using natural ingredients and avoiding the preservatives and added sugar in the store brand (of course buying them is also convenient). Even without all the excess sugar, it’s a treat your kids are sure to love!
This example uses apricots but you can use almost any fruit like plums, pears, strawberriesk bananask and cherries.
- Fruit (fresh, or canned and strained, raw or cooked)
- Cut off all the blemishes from your fruit.
- Blend the fruit in a blender or food processor until relatively smooth. Small chunks are ok.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper, then smooth the blended fruit onto the tray. You should probably use more than pictured [above]- this is too little and makes a thinner, cracklier fruit leather instead of a very pliable.
- Put in the oven on the lowest temperature setting possible, and prop open the door a drop (less than a centimeter) to allow moisture to escape.
- Check on the fruit every so often, and remove from the oven when it’s dry. Be careful not to keep it in too long or it will burn and/or dry out too much. I found this needed between 2 and 4 hours, depending on how thick I piled it on the baking paper.
- Peel the baking paper off the fruit leather, and cut into strips.
Strawberry Almond Energy Bites
Courtesy of Rhythm of the Home
Sometimes you just need a bit of something delicious to keep you going on your hike. These Strawberry Almond Energy Bites from rhythm of the home are convenient to make ahead of time and you can keep them in the fridge.
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 6 dates
- 1/4 cup coconut
- 1/4 sunflower seeds
- 2 T almond butter
- 1 T coconut oil
- 1/4 cup dried strawberries – diced
- Process the almonds in a food processor until chopped.
- Add the rest of the ingredients through the almond butter, and process until finely combined. Add the diced dried strawberries, and process only until incorporated.
- Roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 8.
Blueberry Sunflower Energy Bites
Courtesy of Spabettie
Here’s a similar idea to the previous recipe, in the convenience of ball form but changing up the ingredients with blueberries. These are dairy, soy, and gluten free.
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted
- 3/4 cup dried blueberries
- 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch sea salt
- sesame seeds, for coating
- Place cashews in food processor, pulse to a small crumb.
- Add dates and blueberries, pulse to combine.
- Add sunflower butter, spirulina powder, cinnamon and salt, combine.
- Roll into 1 inch balls, coat in sesame seeds. Makes 13-14 pieces.
Fun Snack Bags for Kids
Here are some great reusable (and therefore eco-friendly!) sandwich bags for your kids! These are handmade with some fun prints and durable ripstop lining inside. They are machine washable and dryer safe.
Feel free to share any ideas about kids snacks that are fun to make and perfect for hiking!