As COVID restrictions keep us all from traveling far from our homes, more and more us are taking to exploring the places we live more closely. That means that with a huge range of state parks available, many of our weekends are being spent hiking.
Hikes are great family fun, giving your kids the chance to learn more about the world they live in.
However, sometimes hikes can be hungry and thirsty work, so having the right snacks and some hiking hydration packs available is key to having a good day out for everybody.
Here are some healthy snack ideas for you to take on a hike.
1. Granola Bars- are a great source of nutrients from nuts, rolled oats, and a bit of natural sweetness from dried fruits and honey- they keep everyone full with their slow release of energy. They are also very easy to fix up quickly using leftover nuts, seeds and grains from your pantry. No two batches will be exactly the same and they are essential for a healthy diet! Typically these bars will be made with butter, but can be made using your favourite nut butters. Like a bowl of granola, as long as you have the oat base, whatever you add from here is totally up to you. These granola bars are easy to bake and can keep for up to two weeks in a sealed container.
2. Trail Mix- designed to be eaten ‘on trail’ these basic mixes of dried fruits, cereals, chocolate chips, pretzels, nuts and seeds will provide a nutritional energy boost on harder trails. Store whatever you have left in a mason jar, take a handful at a time and enjoy the diversity of textures and flavors in one mouthful.
3. Meat Jerky- a protein hit that is easy to transport and store. If you plan well ahead in advance, you can even make these yourselves to distribute among the troops as you walk. Take 2lbs of meat, thinly slice and season with salt and pepper. Place them on kebab skewers and place in a 200 degree heated oven for anything from six to ten hours. The jerky is ready when it bends without snapping (if cooked for too long, you may have made yourself some dried meat which would be suitable for crumbling on salads or soups)
4. No Bake Peanut Butter Oat Balls- another easy and delicious meal to put together. Just grab a couple of tablespoons and nut butter with an equal quantity of oats and whatever you want to flavour it with (mini dark chocolate chips will turn this into a cheat’s cookie dough!) mix well together, roll into small balls, chill and distribute.
The good news with most of these ideas is that they are mostly made with your pantry staple ingredients and can be taken out and about at a push when you’re fixing to leave the house to go on a hike. Take any of these along with plenty of water, and you’re all good to go!
What is your go-to hiking snack?