New to hiking and wondering about some nutritious options? Or maybe you are a veteran to hiking but looking for some different snack ideas. Well you are in luck. If there is one thing to keep the family going on a longer hike, it is ensuring you have some good snacks available.
A good beginning to any trip is to have everyone fed and well hydrated prior to leaving the house. Seemingly though, no matter how well my kids eat prior to leaving they are asking for something just a mile out on the trail. My plan for this article is to provide three snack options in an effort to not just give provide you a basic starting point, but to also maybe spark some ideas of your own…after all you know your family better than I do.
I also want iterate that this is what works for my family given our size. If you do not have a lot of kids to worry about, cutting up some fruit (apples, oranges, etc) are great ways to keep them fed. We have done this in the past and even brought out individual sized peanut butter and Nutella packets to throw on some flower tortillas. There are endless options…and I will focus on easy and not so messy ones.
Burning calories is a thing, and we all know how we and our kids can get when we are hungry. When out on the trail, we specifically plan for stops to ensure our kids can get a quick bite of food and some other than water hydration. And parents, there is no reason to make this complicated…keep it simple!
Over the years on our various adventures we have tried different easy options that we found at a local outdoor store or Whole Foods…we have been fortunate that our last two duty assignments have had a Whole Foods close by. One thing that matters to my wife and I are making sure the snacks we do bring have some good healthy (ish) options…which have been a trial and error experience. So below are our top three go to items that we take when headed out on a family hiking trip.
- ProBar Meal On-The-Go
These Pro Bars come in a few different flavors but the heavy hitters for us is the Wholeberry Blast and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. These bars are certified gluten free, made with organic ingredients, and Non-GMO Project Certified! This plant-based food bar is real food energy to keep you and the family going. Below is a quick snapshot of the ingredients in each.
Wholeberry Blast: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Oats, Organic Dates, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Cashew Butter, Almond Butter, Cashews, Raisins, Organic Flax Seeds, Organic Sesame Seeds, Almonds, Dried Blueberries, Apple Juice Concentrate, Dried Strawberries, Organic Brown Rice Crisp (brown rice, cane sugar, sea salt), Organic Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Oat Flour, Cane Sugar, Unsweetened Chocolate Molasses, Organic Brown Rice Flour, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Oil
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Oats, Organic Peanut Butter (peanuts), Organic Peanuts, Cane Sugar, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Dates, Organic Flax Seeds, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Organic Brown Rice Crisp (brown rice, cane sugar, sea salt), Organic Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Oat Flour, Peanut Extract, Organic Brown Rice Flour, Sea Salt, Organic Molasses, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Rosemary Extract
The best part about these bars is they are packed with calories, can easily be shared, come in multiple flavors, and are an easy cleanup while out on the trail. Simple and nutritious is the name of the game for our family while out exploring…save those more elaborate meals while back at camp. If you are interested in more tips and tricks while camping with your kids visit fellow Off Grid Essential guru Mike’s article here. You can pick up the Wholeberry Blast here and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip here.
A company that started with two best friends with a goal of changing the protein bar industry, has done very well for themselves. I believe they started to become more popular when they entered into the Crossfit market…that’s how I first learned about their bars. RXBars are a great nutritious bar that’s gluten free and paleo friendly. Below are the flavors of bars we enjoy and what ingredients they contain.
Peanut Butter: Dates, Peanuts, Egg Whites, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt
Chocolate Sea Salt: Dates, Egg Whites, Almonds, Cashews, Chocolate, Cocoa, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt
Blueberry: Dates, Egg Whites, Almonds, Cashews, Blueberries, Natural Flavors
Mixed Berry: Dates, Egg Whites, Almonds, Cashews, Cranberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Natural Flavors
Peanut Butter Chocolate: Dates, Peanuts, Egg Whites, Chocolate, Natural Flavors, Cocoa, Sea Salt
Note: Manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy and wheat.
Each one of these bars packs 12 grams of protein. And like the previously discussed ProBar, they are a simple and easy cleanup option while out on the trail. Just keep in mind that if it is a hot day they do have a tendency to melt so use the wrapper to your advantage and keep the hands from getting all messy.
Check out Amazon here for a good variety pack to get you started!
3. Trail Mix
The best thing about this next option, is you can either make it yourself, or simply buy a big bag of it at the store. No matter how you decide to do it, placing a handful or two into single Ziploc bags ensures everyone has their own and no fighting over you received more than the other. We have tried both the make it your own and store bought.
Of course our kids like the M&Ms the most so we are cautious about how many of them enter the bag. We really want them to get the nutrients and protein from the nuts (we go lightly salted) and the raisins and/or cran-raisins. Sometimes we will add some little marshmallows just to give them something different and little soft texture to balance from the nuts…yes I know marshmallows are not healthy, but it is just a few and for their effort why not give them a little something fun.
Amazon has a really good option and if you are a Prime Member (which you should be in my opinion) it is free shipping.
Regardless of which option you choose, or if you choose to do all three, everyone needs some form of nutrition when out on the trail…hiking or mountain biking. Your body will need some calories to keep it going, and let’s be honest, no one likes the hangry that ensues when you, your spouse, or your kids are lacking in food intake. Hopefully these three options give you a solid snack plan the next time you head out on a family hike or mountain bike trail exploration.