My kids love trail mix, but buying it pre-made can get pricey — especially since they like different flavors (of course). So instead, I’ve come up with a list of snack items to keep in my pantry that combine in endless ways for make-your-own trail mix recipes.

Not only can the boys use these snacks to dream up personal trail mix blends, but they can do it over and over again, varying it a little each time. Which means no complaining about getting bored with my trail mix purchases, thank you very much.

Check out my rule of thumb for putting together a healthy and awesomely delicious trail mix, my master grocery list for maximum DIY trail mix fun, and our four favorite trail mix recipes below.

Related: The one simple way I turned snack time into together time, and how you can too.


DIY Trail Mix Recipes: Rule of thumb

Of course, trail mix can be whatever you want it to be, especially if you’re just putting it together for family snack time, as opposed to for a long hike when you’d need it to provide maximum nutrition and energy. But still, balance is good.

I try to make my trail mix 50 percent nuts and/or seeds, 30 percent dried or freeze dried fruit (freeze-dried has much less sugar; a combination of the two is nice too), and 20 percent miscellaneous, including sesame sticks, sweet chips of various kinds, cereal, and so on.

Related: Easy snacks for kids. Hold the added sugar.


Everything you need to have on hand to make your own DIY Trail Mix blends + our 4 favorite recipes | Cool Mom Eats

DIY Trail Mix Recipes: The master grocery list

Here are my favorite things to keep on hand to make your own DIY trail mixes:

* Dried fruit

* Freeze-dried fruit

* Banans chips

* Nuts and seeds

* Cereal bits, such as O’s

* Store-bought (or homemade) granola

* Toasted coconut chips

* Chocolate, white chocolate, or peanut butter chips (mini chips are perfect; buy vegan if that’s better for you)

* Mini pretzels

* Popcorn (though keep in mind that it goes stale more quickly than the other trail mix ingredients)

* Sesame sticks

* Dried chickpea snacks

* Dried edamame

* Rice crackers

I have room to store these items separately, each in its own sealed container, in my pantry. Then, the kids can mix-and-match as they wish. We’ve found, though, that they return to the same four combinations over and over again. To be honest, I do too.


DIY Trail Mix Recipes: Our 4 favorite combinations


Dried pineapple; freeze-dried mango; a touch of candied ginger; coconut and/or banana chips; macadamia nuts or, if they’re too expensive, almonds and/or cashews; white chocolate chips



Granola; salted pistachios; sesame sticks; dried cherries; chocolate chips



Peanuts; pecans; popcorn; pretzels; banana chips; peanut butter chips; chocolate chips



Pain or tamari almonds; sesame sticks; dried edamame; rice crackers

What’s your favorite DIY trail mix? Let us know by leaving a comment below or posting a picture of your favorite combination on Instagram and tagging @CoolMomEats.


Top photo by Naomi McColloch for Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook From Scratch — With Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them by our editor, Stacie Billis, published by DaCapo Lifelong Books and used with permission. Available at our Amazon affiliate.