Are you in a snack rut with your child? My easy-to-follow, 4-Ingredient Trail Mix Formula will help!
Trail mix is a fun activity that can inspire your kiddo to try different texture combinations, learn about new tastes, and discover a multitude of ingredients that will please their palate. It also helps nurture their self-reliance skills and may increase the chance of them choosing healthier snack options in the future. And trail mix is great for school snacks, road trips, hiking activities, sporting events, play dates, and afterschool snacks.
Besides being simple to make, trail mix can include many of the ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard, and it is a snack activity that includes the whole family. It only takes a minute to implement slight variations of a trail mix to accommodate different family members’ taste 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.
Ms. Dawn’s Trail Mix Formula
Ms. Dawn’s trail mix formula 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, mini rice cakes, and oyster crackers. Favorite cereals are a hit in trail mix, too! Some examples are Cheerios, Golden Grahams, Wheat Chex, Puffin cereal, granola, crisp cereals, rice cereals, and gluten-free cereals.
Dried fruits and veggies such as raisins, peas, Goji berries, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, coconut flakes, corn, apple chips, banana chips, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, tangerines, mango and pineapple. Other ideas are yogurt raisins, snap pea crisps, and veggie straws.
Nuts are a cornerstone for trail mix, but they could be a choking hazard, so use chopped or halved nuts (depending on your child’s age and stage). Some examples of nuts are pistachios, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pine nuts. Seeds are also a great staple, such as pumpkin, sunflower, Chia, and hemp seeds. Other ideas are mini peanut butter crackers, popcorn, yogurt melts, turkey jerky bites, and beef + bison jerky bites.
M&M’s, dark or milk chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, peanut butter chips, and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. You can also cut your child’s favorite candy bar or snack bar into small pieces and add it to the mix too!
More schools are “nut-free” in order to protect children with life-threatening nut allergies. So, it’s essential 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!
I recommend making a large batch of trail mix and placing the mixture into snack bags. Store them in the pantry for a quick on-the-go snack or movie night on the couch. Yes, please!
Fall-Inspired Trail Mix
Here is a Fall Inspired Trail Mix using my 4-Ingredient Trail Mix formula!
- 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 favorite snack bags and other feeding products in my Amazon Store!