Nourishing Snacks to Fuel Playing Outside

One of the earliest written records of trail mix was in camping guides written by outdoorsman and American travel writer Horace Kephart circa 1910. His recipe included nuts, raisins, and chocolate. The intention of this first trail mix — a combination of nuts and raisins — was for it to be eaten while being active outdoors.

Today you can find trail mixes everywhere from small speciality healthy stores to big box stores. A good option on the go, but you can skip the preservatives and packages and seize the opportunity to get yourself or your kids involved in making (and eating) a custom-made snack! From sweet to savoury, crunchy to chewy there are thousands of combinations to appeal to any age and palate! Kids and parents alike will get a fun surprise in every bite.

Trail mix is lightweight, portable, and full of energy-dense ingredients that cover all the macros —- fat, carbs, protein. This is important for all ages, as having snacks with all the macros helps stabilize moods and energy levels. Preparation is easy; simply combine any dry ingredients and stash the mix in an airtight container then you’re good to go — on the trail or out and about in town! A staple in my car, picnic basket, diaper bag, gym bag, in-flight bag, road trip cooler all contain jars of ever-rotating trail mix ingredients!


  • Nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, hemp seeds)
  • Dried fruit (apples, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, dates)
  • Dried veggies (kale chips, dried beet chips, seaweed chips, wasabi peas, candied ginger)
  • Grains (cereal, pretzels, crackers, granola, popcorn, graham crackers, puffed rice, fish crackers, broken tortilla chips, sesame sticks)
  • Sweets (chocolate chips/chunks, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, cacao nibs, mini marshmallows, gummies,yogurt covered raisins or pretzels, chocolate covered coffee beans)
  • Savoury snacks (wasabi peas, dried ginger)
  • Spices and Herbs (dash of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, garlic, sea salt, cardamom, chilli, curry mix, lucuma, cocoa, mesquite, rosemary)


  • It’s a Zoo In Here: animal crackers + raisins + peanuts + popcorn
  • Berry-licious: dried berries (choose favourites from golden berries, mulberries, strawberries, goji berries, blueberries, cranberries) + sunflower seeds + pistachios
  • S’more Fun: mini marshmallows + chocolate chips/chunks + graham crackersbroken to pieces (or Teddy Grahams) + peanuts
  • Seaside adventure: salted pretzels + fish gummies + almonds
  • Hawaiian paradise: cashews + macadamia nuts + dried pineapple + dried mango chunks + large coconut chips
  • Apple Pie: walnuts + almonds + dried apple chunks or chips + chopped dates + dash of lucuma powder + dash of cinnamon
  • Banana split: dried bananas + dried strawberries + chocolate chips/chunks + peanuts


  1.  Choose a suggested recipe above or choose your own trail adventure! For your own adventure, you can choose an ingredient or two from each or just a couple of the categories.

  2. Store in an airtight container, such as a large or small mason jar.

  3. Keep your trail mix in a dry, cool place. If you are like me and keep a mason jar of trail mix in your vehicle and running stroller at all times, be mindful of not adding candy chips and other ingredients that can melt in warmer months.

  4. Happy trails (mix) to you!


Guest Contributor: 
Sally Powis-Campbell, a local Registered Psychologist, Yoga Teacher, Meditation Guide, Author and Public Speaker who is passionate about helping people infuse mindfulness into their everyday lives.


Originally published July 12, 2018

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