I find that if you teach a picky eater how to make their own snack, they are more likely to eat it! It also helps nurture their self-reliance and increase the chance for them to eat healthier snack options in the future. The secret is in making the recipe an easy-to-follow formula like my 4-Ingredient Trail Mix! Trail mix is a great example and it’s a fun activity that can be used to inspire your kiddo to try different combinations, learn new tastes, and discover a multitude of ingredients that will please their palate.
Besides being simple to make, trail mix can include many of the ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard! It’s also easy to implement slight variations of a trail mix to accommodate different family member’s preferences. For instance, you can give dad a bit more nuts for his trail mix, mom may want more seeds, and the kids might like a little more cereal. And if you’re trying to put a little weight on your picky eater, trail mix is an ideal snack since it’s high in calories!
Ms. Dawn’s Trail Mix Recipe
Ms. Dawn’s trail mix is made up of 4 types of ingredients: 1) a starch, 2) a protein, 3) a fruit or veggie, and 4) a sweet.
- Select one ingredient from each of the first three categories below (starch, protein, fruit/veggie) and place 1 cup of each into a large bowl.
- Add ¼ cup from an ingredient in the Sweets category
Ta-da! Your custom 4-Ingredient Trail Mix is ready!
Here are some ingredient ideas you can try, by category:
Cinnamon graham crackers, pretzel sticks, goldfish crackers, cheddar bunnies, puffs, animal crackers, sesame sticks, cheese crackers, pretzels, oyster crackers, Cheerios, Golden Grahams, Wheat Chex, Puffin cereal, granola, crisp cereals, rice cereals, gluten free cereals.
Raisins, Goji berries, peas, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, “Raisins”, coconut flakes, corn, apple chips, banana chips, yogurt raisins, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, tangerines, mango, pineapple.
Yogurt melts, beef jerky bites, turkey jerky bites, pistachios, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, hemp seeds, mini peanut butter crackers, popcorn.
M&M’s, dark or milk chocolate chips, marshmallows, peanut butter chips.
- Tip: You can also cut your child’s favorite candy bar into small pieces.
More schools are “nut free” in order to protect children with life threatening nut allergies. So it’s important to explore a nut-free trail mix recipe your child enjoys if you want them to bring it to school for a snack. It’s easy to substitute seeds for nuts and still get the salty taste + powerful protein punch!
Whether you are making trail mix for a sporting event, road trip, hike or an after school snack, I recommend making a large batch and placing the mixture into snack bags. Store them in the pantry for a quick on-the-go snack or for movie night on the couch. Yes, please!
Fall-Inspired Trail Mix
Here is a Fall Inspired Trail Mix using my 4-Ingredient Trail Mix recipe!
- Combine 1 cup of each:
- cinnamon graham cracker cereal
- cashew nuts
- dried papaya
- Combine ¼ cup of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
I hope these tips encourage you to get your kids in the kitchen to create their very own trail mix combination! What are some of your favorite ingredients? Which protein do you add to your kid’s snack mix? #MsDawnSLP
xo Ms. Dawn
P.S Check out some of my trail mix ingredients and other sensory food ideas in my Amazon Store!