Pinchin' Pennie$ in the Kitchen: Make Your Own Snack Mixes

(FN1753, Reviewed Aug. 2019)

Making snack mixes at home is quick and easy, healthful, personalized, and less expensive then store bought mixes. This publication gives tips about making your own mixes and gives some snack mix recipes for you to try.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Other Authors

Katie Odland, Dietetic Intern (former)

Web only
Publication Sections

Homemade snack mixes can be an inexpensive and healthful option for children and adults.

Each snack mix recipe in this handout contains kid-friendly ingredients. These grab-and-go snacks can be served after school or you can take them along on family vacations on the r

Benefits to Making Snack Mixes at Home

Quick and easy

• Invite children into the kitchen to help assemble the snack mixes and place them in single-serving zip-top plastic snack bags.

• Make snack mixes in the quantity you will use within a few weeks. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry place


• Each snack mix recipe in this handout contains ingredients such as cereals, dried fruits and bite-size crackers that are healthier options, compared with many popular snacks such as chips, cookies and candy.

• Homemade snack mixes usually are lower in calories, sodium and sugar. Cereal-based snack mixes provide a variety of nutrients. Choose “whole grain” options more often to add fiber and other nutrients.

Less expensive

• Many ingredients such as cereals and crackers are fairly inexpensive, especially when you compare unit prices of various brands.

• Be a smart shopper. Watch the sales in your favorite grocery stores and use coupons if available.


• Create your own mixes by blending your favorite ingredients in a large bowl. This formulation, with all ingredients, will make about 25 (¼-cup) snacks. Experiment with your favorite healthful snack ingredients.

  •  4 cups cereal of various shape
    •  Examples: Whole grain or multigrain squares or rings
  • 1 cup bite-sized cracker
    • Examples: Goldfish, Animal Crackers, cheese crackers
  •  ½ cup dried fruit
    • Examples: raisins, dried cranberries, apples, blueberries
  • ½ cup nuts (optional
    • Examples: peanuts, almonds, mixed nuts
  • ¼ cup “treat” (optional)
    • Examples: chocolate chips, butterscotch chips

Quick tip: Package these in snack-size zip-top plastic bags to help with portion control. The following recipes were portioned to be 100 calories or less.

Quick tip: For best quality, use the products before the “best by” or “use by” date on the package. Cereal-based products remain safe to eat beyond the date, but their quality (flavor, etc.) may decline.

Key to Abbreviations

No-bake Snack Mix

4 c. cereal squares (such as corn or wheat Chex or Crispix)

1¼ c. whole-grain crackers (such as Wheat Thins)

1¼ c. bite-size cheddar cheese crackers (such as Goldfish)

1½ Tbsp. vegetable oil

½ (1-oz.) envelope ranch salad dressing mix

Combine cereal and crackers in large bowl. Drizzle with oil and stir gently. Sprinkle with dressing mix and stir gently. Place in an air-tight container.

Makes 26 (¼-cup) servings. Each serving has 60 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 140 mg sodium.

Peanutty Cereal Snack Mix

5 c. wheat squares (such as Mini-Wheats)

1½ c. cereal squares (such as corn or wheat Chex or Crispix)

½ c. toasted oat rings cereal (such as Cheerios)

1 c. raisins

2 Tbsp. margarine

2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

½ c. smooth peanut butter

Mix cereals and raisins together in a large bowl; set aside. Melt margarine on low heat; add corn syrup and peanut butter. Cook until the mixture comes to slight boil, stirring often. Pour over the dry mixture and mix well. Spread the snack mix on wax paper to cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Makes 32 (¼-cup) servings. Each serving has 90 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 40 mg sodium.

Chocolate Cereal and Fruit Snack Mix

¼ c. butter or margarine

1½ tsp. sugar

1½ tsp. unsweetened cocoa (optional)

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1½ c. bite-sized crisp rice squares cereal

1½ c. bite-sized crisp wheat squares cereal

1 c. toasted oat rings cereal (such as Cheerios)

½ c. small graham crackers (such as Teddy Grahams)

¾ c. dried fruit bits (such as dried cranberries)

½ c. chocolate chips

In 4-quart microwave-safe bowl, place butter or margarine. Microwave on high for one minute or until melted. Stir in sugar, cocoa and cinnamon. Add cereals and graham crackers. Stir until evenly coated. Microwave on high three minutes, stirring each minute. Stir in dried fruit. Microwave on high three minutes, stirring each minute. Cool completely. Stir in chocolate chips. Store in tightly covered container in cool, dry place. Makes about 11 cups mix.

Makes 22 (¼-cup) servings. Each serving has 100 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 30 mg sodium.


See the recipe database at www.ag.ndsu.edu/food for more recipes with ways to use remaining ingredients.

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