If there's one thing I've learned after years of hiking with my three kids, it's to always bring more food and water than I think I'll need. Not only is it a smart idea in case we get lost, this also provides motivation for lagging little hikers to get to the next rest spot, and if we’re having a blast on our adventure, we won't need to cut it short because of a food shortage.
I usually pack a snack box for each of my kids’ backpacks with either a sandwich or cheese and crackers, plus fresh fruit and veggies. I also make sure to pack one or two of these healthy, filling homemade options in my own bag so I can pull them out when the other snacks have dwindled and everyone needs a pick-me-up.
My kids and I love these blondies. They taste delicious and don’t spike your blood sugar, thanks to all the protein from almond flour, peanut butter and a whole can of chickpeas. The chocolate chips make these an exciting snack that never fails to fill our bodies and satisfy us for the last leg of the trail.
It might sound complicated, but all you need to make your own fruit leathers is a couple of super simple ingredients (like your favourite fruit and honey), a food processor and an oven (set to its lowest temperature). Adding a few extras like dates and chia seeds gives these even more staying power, making for a fruity hiking snack that’s a little different from the usual options.
It’s called trail mix for a reason: it’s easy, filling and provides the energy we all need to keep going on long hikes. I like to throw in something unexpected, like pretzels or dried chickpeas to go along with the usual nuts, chocolate chips, raisins and other dried fruit. This is a great recipe to start with to get some inspiration.
Quick, easy and healthy, these date energy balls combine walnuts, dates and coconut for a snack that’s full of healthy fats and protein for lasting energy. We love to add cocoa powder and hemp seeds to ours as well.
If you’re heading to a trail that has a campfire pit (like Hilton Falls in Ontario, for example) you’ll be so glad you brought this recipe along. All you need to do is mix flour, yeast, sugar, water, oil and salt (no kneading required) and let the dough rise while you search for the perfect roasting sticks. It’s especially fun for kids to roll out their piece of dough into a long strip and wrap it around their stick for roasting.
In our family, peanut butter is our most frequently requested food and it’s often paired with oats for breakfast. These homemade granola bars are like a portable version of that. Packed with oatmeal, peanut butter, seeds and nuts and sweetened with honey, we love these easy-to-pack, delicious bars that are very hike-friendly.
These muffins are a go-to hiking snack for our family. I love that we can pack in protein and fibre from carrots and lentils while still enjoying a filling snack that feels like a treat. The lentils make for a budget-friendly high-protein option. These also freeze really well, so it’s easy to make them in advance and just grab-and-go when we’re headed out the door (this also makes them great for camping trips).
When we’re short on time, our family’s favourite packaged snack for adventures is Lara Bars because they’re filling and sweet without being overly sugary. But when we have the time, we prefer to make them. This recipe is packed with cashews and dates for lasting energy and tastes strikingly similar to the packaged version.
A muffin is the perfect vehicle for introducing kids to foods they might not otherwise want to try. Case in point, these quinoa-almond muffins, which have cooked quinoa baked into them, along with almond flour for even more protein. I love the spice combo of cardamom and cinnamon that gives these muffins a warming flavour that we love for rainy hikes or chillier mornings on camping trips.
For a different take on our usual chocolatey energy balls, I love this veggie-packed option with a different (but equally delicious) flavour profile. Carrots, oats, dates, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and ginger make for a healthy option that provides lasting energy for all our outdoor adventures.
What are your favourite hiking snacks?
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