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Snacks and Drinks to Pack for Your Next Family Hike

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Hiking is a wonderful way to spend time with loved ones, enjoy nature, and take a break from daily life. Whether you’re a fan of long or short hikes or more intense or less intense hikes, taking a nice picnic along for the journey can make the experience all the more enjoyable. When participating in physical activity, it’s essential to pack the right items to keep your energy high so you can keep moving and feeling good. Today, we’ve compiled some different recipes and ideas to help inspire you for your next picnic for your hike!

Trail Mix

A beloved snack among hikers and nonhikers alike, trail mix is an easy and versatile option to have in your backpack. There are many options to choose from, and making it at home can be fun for the entire family! Classic trail mix typically includes peanuts, walnuts, dried fruits, and some chocolate elements (like mini chocolate candies or chips). But, as trail mix has become more popular, it has been adapted in an infinite amount of ways depending on the preferences of the eater. 

Trail mix (the kind that uses primarily nuts and dried fruits in its mix) is a great way to boost energy and keep you and your family moving through the hike. For example, trail mix has been found to contain several high-protein ingredients, according to Healthline. Trail mixes that are heavy in nuts and seeds can help you gain protein for your diet, which, in turn, can help repair your muscles and tissues, support your immune health, and help you feel full. Additionally, according to the same source, nuts and seeds found in trail mix contain heart-healthy fats that can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

It’s important to remember that not all trail mixes are equally healthy. Rather, trail mixes with heavy sugar or salt content can do much more harm than good, so be sure to pick the trail mix recipe or prebought container carefully to ensure you are getting the most out of this food! Here are some delicious (and healthy) trail mix recipes that can help you and your family feel full and satisfied on your next family hike: this healthy, easy-to-make trail mix, this super trail mix, or some sweet and savory options you can quickly put together!

Granola Bars

Another excellent snack that both saves space and keeps you full is the classic granola bar! Granola bars are just as versatile as their trail mix companion; whether you enjoy them sweet or savory, there is bound to be an option that you’ll enjoy. Granola bars typically contain granola (think oats) mixed in with some nuts, chocolate, or other ingredients, all of which are compacted into an easy-to-carry bar that won’t take up too much space in your backpack. 

Granola bars are available in your local grocery store or specialty store, but it can be just as easy to make them yourself (and can help make them healthier as well). According to Gaia Good Health, granola bars can contain ingredients that can benefit you, like rolled oats, honey, and dried fruit. These ingredients, especially when exerting energy, can help to keep you going during a hard workout or through a long day! Granola, as noted by Fit & Flex, has several different health benefits besides being a great way to gain a boost of energy; due to its high fiber content, granola can help to aid in weight loss and helping to lower blood pressure. It is also said to help provide a significant level of iron to the body, helping to protect against anemia!

Similar to trail mix, granola bars can include many added ingredients that make this food more harmful than beneficial for your diet. For example, added sugars like extra chocolate, candies, salts, or other calorie-dense ingredients can lead to overconsumption of calories or sodium, which can lead to weight gain or other health complications. Not to worry, though; there are some wonderful recipes you can try to gain the most out of this delicious snack! If you’re looking for a granola bar that is simple yet delicious, you should try this recipe! Or, if you’re looking for a more savory option, try this pizza granola bar recipe!

Wraps

Another favorite hiking meal item is wraps! With so many ways to create this food, there is a version for all taste preferences. Wraps can be made either with fruit, vegetables, meat, or any of your favorite ingredients. It makes for a great meal to enjoy when trying to further your health or weight loss goals!

While the main components of a wrap typically include bread (like that of a pita bread or a tortilla), the internal components can vary a lot. Additionally, their ability to be so portable makes wraps so much easier than a sandwich! Unlike a sandwich, wraps take up much less space in your bag, making them the perfect hiking food to bring with you on your next family adventure. If you’re looking for delicious recipes, this Buffalo Chicken Wrap is an ideal way to get your protein, fiber, and vegetable serving all in one! Or, if you or your family are more into a sweeter option, this PB & J Wrap is always a great option to enjoy.

Iced Tea

When thinking about picnics, you can’t forget about the drinks! Iced tea is a classic picnic staple and can also make a delicious option for a hike, providing a refreshing, sweet treat after a long stretch of walking. While you could buy your iced tea at the grocery store, brewing it at home has many added benefits! According to AARP, black tea (a classic iced tea base) contains a rich source of theaflavins, a chemical that may help to lower cholesterol in the body. 

Additionally, when brewing and making sweet tea at home, you can control the sugar you add to the drink, making it a way to help control the sugar you and your family consume. If you’re looking for a healthy but delicious iced tea recipe, this healthy homemade iced tea makes for a wonderful option. 

Lemonade

Last but certainly not least is a true picnic favorite: lemonade. Nothing is more refreshing than a nice lemonade, but did you know lemons can also provide a range of health benefits? For instance, according to Medical News Today, lemons are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which can help to aid in cancer prevention, keep the skin healthy, and even boost the immune system. Buying lemonade from the store may not provide these benefits, but using fresh lemons and a minimal sugar can make this refreshing beverage go the extra mile on your hike. Try this delicious homemade lemonade recipe for your next hiking picnic to ensure you and your family are hydrated and ready to continue on your journey!

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