Build-Your-Own Trail Mix

Game nights require snacks that are easy to eat one-handed without being messy. A DIY trail mix bar is perfect for long nights of gaming!

Game nights require snacks that are easy to eat one-handed without being messy. A DIY trail mix bar is perfect for long nights of gaming! //

Our friends Adam and Laura are visiting all week, which can only mean one thing – lots and lots of board game playing! We’re now working around nap times and bedtimes for their little girl, but we’ve still managed to squeeze in at least 2-3 games a day during her sleeping hours. We’re nothing if not determined to get in all the game time we can!

We’re also ramping up our game time with our other friends as well. Now that the weather is getting decidedly more chilly, more and more of our social activities are headed indoors. Hosting game nights are one of our favorite ways to entertain because they can be as low-key or energetic as you’d like – it all comes down to the games you choose!

NatureBox snacks are a great addition to any homemade trail mix //

Because it is nearly impossible for me to entertain without providing some sort of handmade food or drink, I’ve been on the search for more game night-friendy snack options. This means snacks that are easy to eat with one hand between turns. They also shouldn’t require piles of napkins – nobody wants to wash their hands between every turn!

Snack mix and candied nuts are obvious choices, but I’ve been wanting to find something a bit more interactive and fun to serve. So when NatureBox offered to send me a few of their snacks to try, I realized that a DIY trail mix bar would be perfect.  I’d put out my NatureBox goodies with a bunch of bite-sized sweet and savory snacks and let people build their own mix!

Naturebox Snacks //

The NatureBox snacks were a perfect addition to our trail mixes. I chose a variety of their sweet and savory options: praline pumpkin seeds, honey crunch crisps, oat bran dipping’ stix, baked cheddar potato sticks and mango orange fruit chews. All of the crunchy snacks arrived fresh and crisp, while the fruit chews were specially packaged so that they didn’t become rock hard before we could eat them. The honey crunch crisps were my favorite, with a subtle sweetness that would work well in both sweet and savory mixes. But I’m also enamored with the praline pumpkin seeds – I think they’d be good in pancakes, too!

If you want to make a build-your-own trail mix bar for your next party, here are some snack ideas:

Anything bite-sized from the NatureBox catalog

Mini marshmallows

Chocolate chips or candies

Raisins or other dried fruit

Candied nuts (I also like NatureBox’s sweet blueberry almonds, based on past experience!)

Crystallized ginger

Shredded coconut

Cheese crackers

Air-popped popcorn

Breakfast cereal



Roasted nuts or seeds

Just put everything out in small bowls or ramekins, give your guests some bowls and let them go to town!

Want to try some NatureBox for yourself? They are offering Savvy Eats readers a free trial box with a full-sized bag and four single-served pouches to help with your healthy holiday snacking. If you choose to subscribe and join NatureBox, you’ll receive five different snacks every month. You can choose the snacks you want from the catalog, or let them surprise you with their carefully curated selections!  Each of their snacks contains wholesome ingredients, with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors, zero grams trans fats, and no high fructose corn syrup.

Click here to start your free trial with NatureBox! *

*Fine Crumbs: Free trial is available for new and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.

P.S. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make Savvy Eats possible.

Cheddar Snack Crackers

Cheddar Snack Crackers on Savvy Eats

Crackers have long been on my “try to make these from scratch” list, but for some reason, I’ve always put them off. I think I expected the rolling process to be a total pain. I thought it would take forever to get the dough rolled out to that super-thin 1/8” thickness, and they wouldn’t be worth the cost savings in the end. Turns out I was wrong – rolling the dough out was actually pretty easy.

Now, I don’t have kids, and we have long been out of college, so I’m not gearing up for the whole “back-to-school” season. But if I were, I can guarantee I’d be whipping up a batch or two of these cheddar crackers for packed lunches and afternoon snacks. Since they are a little thicker, they are sturdier than their store-bought counterparts and less prone to crumbling. But they still have that cheesy crunch that we all know and love – it is the best of both worlds! Plus, when you make your crackers from scratch, you can avoid all those yucky chemicals and additives some of the big name brands contain. Three times the win!

Cheddar Snack Crackers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-10

Cheddar Snack Crackers

These crackers are ultra-cheesy with just a touch of smokiness.


  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Pulse the cheese, flour, butter, paprika, salt and pepper together in a food processor to combine.
  3. Add the water and process until the dough forms a ball. Roll the dough out to a 1/8" thickness.
  4. Cut the dough into approximately 1" squares, and spread the crackers out on a cookie sheet. They won't spread much at all, so you can leave them fairly close together. Poke each cracker with a fork - this will help release the air bubbles so that the crackers get crispy.
  5. Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes, or until the crackers are firm. Transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.

PS: Looking for more snacks? Try one of these: buffalo Chex mix, pumpkin soft pretzels or cherry pretzel energy bars!