Make your own snack packs

Patricia Conte

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Convenience is king but it can also be costly. Think about those snack packs you buy to add to your kids’ lunches, or maybe even your own. You can easily make your own snack packs customized to your choice -- and even save money in the end!

Trail mix

With just a little thought and a few supplies, you can easily make your own snack packs for less (and they might be a bit healthier, too). Check out a few of these snack-pack tips:

Standard packing supplies

  • Decide on portion sizes -- snack-sized, sealable plastic bags, or sandwich-sized bags.
  • Consider which type of container -- glass or plastic sealable containers (about 3/4 cup in size).

Trail mix snack pack

You can buy several items in bulk and mix and match your favorites! Ideas include the following:

  • Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, pineapple, mango, etc.)
  • Chocolate chips or plain M&Ms
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Asian-flavored crunchy rice snacks
  • Dried peas
  • Pretzel sticks or twists
  • Popcorn
  • Whole-wheat cereal
  • Small wheat crackers or small rice cakes

Veggie snack pack

Buy either prepared veggies (like baby carrots) or regular vegetables and slice them yourself. Mix and match the following and pack them with a small serving of low-fat ranch dressing, plain yogurt, salsa or hummus for dipping:

  • Carrot sticks or baby carrots
  • Celery sticks
  • Sliced radishes
  • Cucumber slices
  • Jicama sticks
  • Bell peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sugar snap peas

Fruit snack pack

Nothing beats fruit to snack on! Mix and match fruit and decide if you want fresh or dried. Fruit as a snack is healthy, tasty and it might even replace a craving for dessert. Check out the following ideas:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Apple slices
  • Grapes (frozen grapes are fun snacks)
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Melon balls
  • Tangerine slices
  • Raisins
  • Dates

Healthy chip snack packs

Potato chips can satisfy a craving or they can ruin your good eating habits. Why not make your own chips from vegetables? Thinly slice the veggies, lightly salt and flavor them (Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and even cinnamon) and bake for a healthy alternative to store-bought potato chips. Take a look at this healthy chips recipe. Consider the following:

  • Beets
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kale
  • Carrots

Once you get started, the things you can use to make your own snack packs are almost endless! Making your own can save you money while giving you the option of putting together healthy snacks made just for your family.

More snack ideas to try

Healthy road trip snacks
Homemade graham crackers
Rethinking the afternoon snack

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Patricia Conte
Patricia Conte is a regular contributor to the SheKnows food and living sections. She is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of professional experience. You can follow her on Twitter, or visit her food blog, Grab a Plate, where she shares her love of food, recipes and bites in between.