I don’t think I will ever tire of reminding you snacks are the key to happy little travellers!
Whether it be healthy snacks to get you through a road trip, keeping little ones occupied at 38,000 feet or anywhere away from home, snacks are fuel for your little ones – and timing them well, with the right blend of carbs and protein ESSENTIAL! Remember, not all snacks are created equal!
In this guide, we’re going to take you through our favourite hiking snacks.
The key to a good hiking snack is that it really needs to deliver some long-lasting energy. Far more than just staving off the munchies like normal travel snacks, hiking snacks need to met some of our special criteria to make the list!
Focus on proteins as well as carbs for long-lasting energy
They can be sweet, but avoid overly sugary snacks that will potentially give them a high, followed by a sugar crash!
Easy to eat by hand without any utensils
Light and fits in our hiking day packs
Travels well without refrigeration for a few hours
Easy hiking snacks – store-bought ideas
If you’re just an occasion hiker or travelling away from home then you may find store-bought snacks work best. Some of our favourite easy hiking snacks for kids include:
Dried fruit bars
Apples, bananas, oranges
Punnet of mixed berries
Crackers & tuna (needs knife/spreading tool)
Do consider though that store-bought pre-packaged hiking snacks will undoubtedly come with protective wrappers – most likely plastic – which then needs to be thoughtfully disposed of after your hike. We always take a trash bag tucked away in our hiking backpack for exactly this reason.
If you are looking at being regular hikers, no doubt the cost of all these packages snacks (not to mention the waste you need to bring home with you) can soon add up.
Not being brilliant in the kitchen ourselves, we’ve turned to the experts for tips on the best homemade hiking snacks your kids (and will even get involved with making – we know how much more inclined kids are to eat something when they’ve had a hand in creating it!
These addictively delicious no-bake oatmeal bars feature crunchy almonds, sweet-tart blueberries and creamy white chocolate. All wrapped up in a nutrient-rich little package that’s super quick and easy to make before you head out for a day of adventure!
Delicious, healthy, and packed with energy-boosting properties, these Strawberry Funfetti Energy Bites are also fun and totally kid-friendly! They're perfect for packing to take on hikes and can also be frozen for a quick snack any time.
These chocolate peanut butter protein balls are as simple as stirring the ingredients together, rolling them into a ball, and then eating them! Kids can do it in a matter of 5-10 minutes. We like to chill the balls and then grab them and go. They're perfect for hiking because it offers high protein and energy in just a small bite (portable and snack size)! *Contains peanut butter.
Kids can make these easy bliss balls all on their own as no knives, stove or microwave are needed - just measuring spoons! They pack and travel great and can be made with nut butter or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version.
Gluten-free almond flour banana muffins are packed with healthy protein and fats, so they will keep your kids full while hiking. This recipe contains nuts, but you could double the number of pumpkin seeds and skip the nuts if you're looking for a nut-free snack.
When you need a quick and healthy snack box treat, give these easy banana and cinnamon vegan oat cookies a try! Made with only nutritious ingredients, they are naturally sweetened with fruit, and power-packed with goodness to keep you sustained for hours!
Baked oatmeal cups are a great hiking snack for when you're on the trails (they store well). Not only are they really easy to make but they are customizable. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, protein powder, apple sauce... I share a lot of healthy and delicious options in the recipe! Can't wait for you to enjoy these on your next hike!
These Crunchy, Savory, Vegan Gluten-Free Crackers use only few ingredients and are so easy to make at home. You are going to love the irresistible flavor of these low carb protein-rich crackers. These gluten-free crackers are perfect as a pre-dinner nibble either with a dip or a chunk of cheese or even with a hot cup of tea. Made with whole-grain, nutrient-dense ingredients, these gluten-free vegan crackers will keep you coming back for more.
Banana chips are a yummy, crispy, healthy snack. They are perfect for a mid-afternoon bite to eat, aside in your kids’ lunch boxes, or anytime you want something light and flavorful. And the best part is, with 5 different flavors to choose from, you are bound to find the flavor your family loves the best!
Fancy a full meal? These Protein Snack Packs are filled with hard-boiled eggs, almonds, hummus, and crunchy veggies. An easy and delicious Lunch Meal Prep Solution perfect for any protein lover, these fantastic little protein snack packs are perfect for school lunches, post-workout snacks, or picnics in the park.
Transporting your hiking snacks for kids
There’s nothing worse than putting all the amazing effort into creating healthy snacks for your trip then discovering everything is crushed and broken at your rest stop!
To prevent this from happening, we use small bento box-style containers. If you are taking anything that’s been freshly baked, an insulated box can be a great way to keep them fresh and ready to eat! Small individual boxes are easier to fit in a backpack than a larger lunch box.
Make sure you pick a micture of savoury and sweet snacks and allow enough for your return journey too, little legs can tire more during the second half of a long hike.
Hiking drink bottles for kids
And don’t forget, of course, liquid refreshments too. This is the most important thing you’ll pack out hiking with kids.
They can either take their own small water bottle that can attach to a backpack, or older kids may prefer their own wearable hydration pack. If you’ll be topping up along the way from rivers and streams, we always recommend choosing afiltered water bottle that removes impurities.
Water is always best, of course, but we sometimes let our kids have an extra few drops added of flavour enhancer with electrolytes as a special treat when we are doing active outdoor adventures (just read the labels, some described as ‘energy’ rather than ‘sport’ have a small amount of caffeine).
Learn more about hiking with your family
Before you set off on the trails with little ones, it’s important that you are prepared for what lies ahead. Be it short nature trails close to home or longer day hikes, you’ll want to read:
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