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As you can see from this months “hiking month” theme, hiking is a fantastic family activity that you can do anywhere (even in the big city). However, hiking with hungry kids can be a downright nightmare. Since no one wants to have to buy special or expensive food just for a hike, here are our 5 favorite easy snacks that help keep our kids fueled up when we hit the trail.
1. Granola bars. Our favorites are homemade Larabar type of bars (check in tomorrow for our favorite recipes). They are full of great, simple ingredients that deliver lots of nutrients and energy. Other bars we love : Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars (a great deal at Costco) and Clif Mojo bars (the kids love the pretzels in them).
2. Fruit Leather. We like the Stretch Island kind that you can get at Costco (see a theme?), but sometimes get brave and make our own like these guys. Don’t have any fruit leather? Cut up, non squishable fruits and veggies are awesome too (apples, carrots, etc). Fruit leather is also awesome to keep in your purse for “emergencies”.
3. Trail Mix. This one is a big deal around here. We don’t do it all the time, so the kids think it’s a really special treat (don’t tell them it’s good for them, k?). Instead of buying the stuff from the store (that has just as much candy as nuts), we make our own: nuts, dried fruit (raisins, craisins, apples, whatever), coconut, and a few tiny chocolate chips. Each kid gets their own baggie and I won’t give them more until it’s ALL gone (since Chloe would just eat the chocolate chips otherwise).
4. PB&H. If we’re on a hike, you can safely assume that there are peanut butter sandwiches in my pack. To avoid squished bread, I usually make them on bagels!
5. Candy. What?! Yes, you have to take candy. When you’re 2 miles into a 4 mile loop hike and suddenly your 3 year old “just. can’t. hike. any. more” you’ll thank me. Promising a gummy bear when they get to the next bend in the trail will save everyone’s sanity and miraculously give your kids just the boost that they need!