If you’ve spent any time at all on the trail with kids, you have discovered that delicious hiking food is a great motivator for tiny feet. In an effort to save you time and provide nourishment for your babes, we have complied seven of our favorite, kid-approved trail snack ideas, so you can get outside and have fun. ~ The OFM Editorial Team
Healthy, Kid-Approved Hiking Food
Before you go hiking, make sure to stock up on trail treats. These healthy, kid-approved hiking snacks will delight your taste buds and your wallet while saving you time. One thing to keep in mind is that with any strenuous outdoor activity, you’re going to lose a good amount of sodium when you sweat, so don’t worry too much about making low sodium recipes. You’ll need that extra dash of salt to even out your sodium levels and stay hydrated since the body needs salt to retain water.
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What’s on the hiking food list: Trail Mix, Turkey Jerky, Smoked Almonds, Roasted Spicy Chickpeas, Blueberry-Banana Peanut Butter Bars, No Bake Oatmeal Nut Butter Balls, Fruit Salad.
1. Trail Mix
Dried fruits and berries, granola, nuts and seeds–these are the basics you need to make a good batch of trail mix. Did we mention there are some significant health benefits to this stuff? Throw in some pumpkin seeds which are a great source of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, B vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin E. Walnuts are a great addition since studies have shown they support brain health.
- Power Couple: Goji berries, pistachios, dried blueberries, flax seeds, dark chocolate chips.
- Peanut Butter Nutter: Banana chips, peanut butter chips, peanuts, almonds, dark chocolate chips.
- Monkey Business: Banana chips, peanuts, sea salt, almonds, dark chocolate chips, raisins, coconut flakes.
2. Turkey Jerky
Okay, so this hiking snack isn’t super quick, but it’s worth the effort. It’s also better for you than beef jerky. Turkey jerky is a great source of lean protein, so it’ll give you the boost you need without piling on all the extra calories of fattier hiking food. If you want to avoid the labor of making this one, just pick some up from your favorite local grocer.
- Turkey Breast (2lbs)
- Salt and pepper
- Kabob Skewers
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Thinly slice the turkey breast (the thinner, the better). Salt and pepper each strip, front and back. Skewer the strips of seasoned turkey with the kabob skewers, and hang the skewers from the upper rack of your oven. Leave the oven door slightly ajar (an inch or so should do it). Bake strips anywhere from six to ten hours, checking on them periodically. The jerky is done when you can bend the strips and they crack, but do not break.
3. Smoked Almonds
This is one easy hiking food only takes about 10 minutes of prep and the result is delicious. You can eat these on their own, or you can add them to trail mix or homemade granola bars. Almonds are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin E and magnesium, so snack away with no regrets!
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
- 3 cups whole unblanched almonds, toasted and cooled
In a bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Add garlic powder, celery salt, salt, and liquid smoke; stir until blended. Add almonds and stir until well coated. Evenly spread almonds in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 300°F for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy.
4. Roasted Spicy Chickpeas
One of the great things about roasting chickpeas is that the body will digest the carbohydrates rather slowly, meaning you’ll stay full for longer, and that’s what we’re all looking for in great hiking food. These little guys will keep you going and going on the trail, and they add lots of nutritional value to your diet. Roasted chickpeas contain vitamin A, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool and enjoy.
5. Blueberry-Banana Peanut Butter Bars
You can make this recipe in less than an hour, and these little bars pack a great punch that will keep you satisfied longer. The dried blueberries are a vital addition to this hiking snack because they’re high in vitamin K and vitamin C. Vitamin K is great for strengthening bones, and vitamin C is great for healing and building collagen that fights the effects of free radicals. The peanut butter and banana will also add in protein, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants that will keep you feeling great all day.
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups high-energy cereal made of strong flakes, crushed
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup banana chips
- 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Break the banana chips into small pieces and set aside. Heat the honey and brown sugar in a large pot and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil. Scoop the mixture into the pan and pack down evenly. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer the pan contents to a cutting board. Allow to return to room temperature and then cut into 10 bars. Wrap bars in waxed paper and store in ziploc bags.
6. No Bake Oatmeal Nut Butter Balls
These little delights are easy to make–just put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix the batter until smooth, roll the dough into balls, and stick them in the fridge for an hour. The hiking food treats are loaded with flaxseed, chia seeds, peanut and almond butter. Chia and flax are both high in omega-3 fatty acids, which your body needs to decrease inflammation and regulate your triglyceride levels. Omega-3 will also help boost your mood and focus. You’re getting a ton of protein and nutrients to keep your tummy full throughout your hike!
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons honey
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Stir together until everything is thoroughly combined. Roll dough into balls, refrigerate for one hour, and enjoy.
7. Fruit Salad
This hiking snack is one of the easiest to make. Cut up some fruit, mix it together, and voila! Fruit salad will deliver your body easy-to-digest natural sugars to give you a nice energy boost to keep you going. Depending on which fruits you use, you’ll be getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins.Carhartt.
NOTE: It is the policy of Outdoor Families Magazine to disclose a financial partnership with a business or organization. Carhartt provided financial sponsorship to Outdoor Families Magazine in exchange for content.
~ OFM editorial team
Jennifer Fontaine, Melissa Edge
Donna Janke says
These are good healthy hiking snacks for adults too!