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Good to Go: Summertime Trail Mix

During the summer months, healthy portable snacks are in high demand, called into service to provide energy for all kinds of outdoor activities. When you’re away from home, particularly with kids in tow, you need something that travels well without breaking, getting soggy or spoiling in the heat. Trail mix is compact, keeps well, and is a great source of fiber and protein (from the grains, nuts and seeds) and complex carbohydrates (from the grains and dried fruit). Trail mixes strike an ideal balance of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, particularly if you make them yourself; kids will love to help choose ingredients, then shake it all together in a bag or mix it all up in a bowl. Trail mix provides a perfect balance of energy for high-output activities such as hiking, swimming, boating and biking.

Trail mix is about as adaptable as it gets; peruse the bulk section of the grocery store (bring the kids, but resist their choice of all jellybeans) for inspiration, and try adding dry grainy cereals your kids love at breakfast time. When combining your trail mix ingredients, go heavy on the dried fruits, nuts and seeds, with less starches and even less sweet (such as chocolate chips, sweet cereal or mini marshmallows) to keep the mix more nutritionally balanced.

Do-it-Yourself Trail Mix

Choose somewhere between 3 and 8 items to go into your trail mix – store it in a big jar on the kitchen counter for snacking, or divide between small containers or zip-lock bags to grab and go.

Fruits, Nuts & Seeds:
Roasted peanuts
Toasted almonds
Cashews
Hazelnuts
Pecans
Walnut halves or pieces
Soy nuts
Sunflower seeds
Hemp seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Pistachios
Roasted fava beans
Sesame seeds
Corn nuts
Dried wasabi peas
Raisins
Dried cranberries
Dried cherries
Dried blueberries
Dried dates
Dried figs
Sliced dried apricots
Dried pears
Dried apples
Dried mango
Dried papaya
Flaked coconut

Starches:
Multigrain pretzel sticks
Mini multigrain crackers
Sesame sticks
Whole grain cereal
Granola
Popcorn
Pretzel nuggets
Rice crackers
Whole wheat bagel chips
Mini goldfish crackers

Sweets:
Animal crackers
Candied ginger
Caramel corn
Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (the darker the better)
Chocolate covered peanuts
Chocolate covered raisins
Honey roasted peanuts
Mini marshmallows
Crumbled graham crackers or mini cookies
Sesame cashews
Sweet cereals

Mix and store in an airtight container or divide into individual zip-lock baggies to keep on hand to grab & go.

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