DIY Trail Mix Recipe!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s back to school time for many of us and that may also mean that after-school activities are not far to follow. There is that magic hour between school and practice for many kids and that is sometimes the most hectic hour of the day for many parents.
Why, you may ask? I didn’t mention the morning rush. We get that. Mornings are hectic no matter how organized and prepared you are. I mean- we are sleepy? Sometimes it’s dark and WHO wants to be up? No me and for sure not my kids.
But what I have found in my 15 years of being a mother is that the time after my kids get home from school and before their next stop is crucial to how my night is going to go. They are STARVING (said in a whiny voice), they need to eat NOW! What I have learned over the years is that I need to arm my kids with a few tools to be able to come home and combat the after-school munchies on their own.
They need to ask themselves a few questions first:
Are they thirsty? It could be that this is thirst masked by hunger. Get a big glass of milk, water or a favorite my kids like right now- fruit infused water. Yes, they really do love water.
Does Mom need this for dinner? Yes, my kids have been known to come home, graze in front of the refrigerator on hummus I need for dinner or veggies I am using for a project that night. My solution? A dedicated ‘snack’ shelf. If it’s there- they can eat it.
Is this what I REALLY need? Let’s face it- we have all done it. When you are really hungry you eat whatever is not nailed down. Why are our kids any different? A hand full of tortilla chips chased with a pour of chocolate chips may sound good to them as they are eating it but I guarantee you it won’t be a good idea 15 minutes later.
What I have done is I have created a snack shelf in the refrigerator and basket of snacks on the counter. On the shelf is pre-packaged hummus, pre-cut fruit, cheese sticks, sliced hard meats like pepperoni or salami, boxed milks. In the basket is small packs of peanuts, soy nuts, fruit leather, cracker packs, small containers of peanut butter and always bananas. I package many of these myself to cut down on package waste and costs. Do what works for you- but I try to only stock things that are low in sodium, low in added sugar/additives, and as true to natural form as it can be. If I wouldn’t eat it then they shouldn’t either. They actually do a great job of self regulating and have it all at the ready to grab what they need on the go.
But what about teaching our kids to not only give you a hand in the kitchen, but to also have some cooking skills when they move out? Sure it is nice to have an extra set of hands to help but what about the all important lessons of food safety and knowing what you should and should not eat? These lessons go hand in hand with hygiene, manners and a whole host of other ‘lessons’ we teach our kids.
Early on my kids were with me in the kitchen whether by necessity ie: so I could get food on the table, or by choice ie: teaching them how to make something. This little recipe, and it’s hardly a recipe, has become a formulation to one of the boys’ favorite snacks. Combining salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy, it is quick and fully customizable. Pair this with a cold glass of milk and this is a completely whole and nutritious snack that doesn’t pile on useless calories, sugar and sodium. Not to mention it is a great snack for adults too. Milk is a great recovery drink so this little combo is my go-to post workout snack these days with a banana.
There are so many choices on the market right now for on-the-go milk boxes but our favorite right now are the Horizon Organic chocolate milks. They fit really well in a lunchbox and are a permanent fixture on our snack shelf. Not to mention their half and half makes a great base to my double vanilla ice cream! Living in Indiana, I am blessed with many great options for wholesome, safe and healthy dairy- produced and sold all around me. Horizon is another brands that I use and trust.
For 20 years Horizon Organic has been providing healthy organic milk, cheese, and other organic dairy products. They want to help supply families with the tools they need to be healthy and nutritious.
Now on to that recipe! I am going to show what Jacob likes to make- in pictures. I use a container with a tight fitting screw top or snap lid. That way this can keep for 6 weeks or more- if it lasts that long. Ours is usually 2 weeks, tops. This is great for travel as well. Be careful if you throw in some chocolate chips- they will obviously melt. Something else we like to throw in sometimes is 2 cups of Cheerios or other small whole grain cereal. It adds a bit more crunch and is another great way to sneak in some healthy nutrition!
1. Add 2 cups of shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds to an airtight container
2. Add 2 cups of dried fruit like dried cranberries, blueberries, etc. (use what you like)
3. Add 2 cups of unsalted peanuts
4. Add 1 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional: add 2 cups of small sized multi-grain cereal
Combine all ingredients, replace lid and shake.
Want more recipes your kids can make themselves? Click HERE for all of the how-to videos from my segments on The Earth Eats Test Kitchen on The Friday Zone. Not only do we share safe and healthy treats kids can make themselves but TFZ is also a pretty great show for kids of all ages!