Friday, December 4, 2015

Get kids motivated to hike: Make trail mix

Even if you’re excited, the kids’ calls to instead buy the latest video game may drown out your announcement that a family hike is planned this weekend. What to do? One tried and true possibility is to have kids make trial mix.

But don’t stick to the tried and true peanuts, raisins and M&Ms. Sure, that’s tasty, but after a few outings, it can be a bit dull. Instead, purchase a variety of ingredients and let kids experiment by mixing them in small amounts – say a small disposable paper cup – and then letting each try samples. They they can make a large bag of the favorite mix, or each child can make their own.

Trail mix ingredients generally consist of five parts – nuts/seeds, dried fruit, candy, cereal, and a spice. Some common base ingredients in these categories include:
Nuts/seeds – Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
Dried fruit – Banana chips, candied orange peel, dried apples, dried apricots, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, dried peaches, raisins
Candy – Butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, M&Ms, Peanut butter chips, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles, sweetened coconut
Cereal – Apple Jacks, Cheerios, Cheetos, Chex cereals, Fruit Loops, granola, kettle corn, popcorn, pretzels, Wasabi peas
Spice – Cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder

About half of the trail mix should consist of nuts/seeds. All nuts/seeds should be shelled. A spice isn’t needed but can add some extra flavor and kick to a what can be an otherwise dry mix; always use a light amount of spice.

Materials: Trail mix ingredients, disposable paper cups, sealable plastic bags to mix and store ingredients

Ages: 4 and up

Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.