Wherever the road takes you this summer, it can be tough to find snacks for your children that are healthy and tasty without being messy or needing constant refrigeration. Here are some ideas to keep your kids happy as you travel in the car or van for summer vacation.
Dried fruits and nuts can be a great snack for older children. But for kids for whom these foods are still a choking hazard, try making a trail mix of your own. Our kids who are 3 and 5 love a combination of healthy dried cereal, raisins, pretzels and mini marshmallows. Divide your mix into individual snack containers to minimize spilling. My family shies away from anything super sweet to keep from upsetting little tummies while on the road.
Packaged treats like Teddy Grahams and Goldfish crackers are fairly crumb free. We also love to bring chewy homemade granola bars (made without the chocolate chips for less mess).
Beef jerky and string cheese were a popular snack on my family trips as a child. Unless your kiddo is prone to car sickness, these snacks fill them up until the next meal. They keep relatively well at room temperature for several hours. If you want them cold but don’t have room for a cooler, just slip a sandwich bag of ice cubes into a Tupperware container and store the snacks inside.
If you’re hoping to eat some fresh fruit on your trip, sliced grapes and clementine slices are fairly clean for kids who can eat them whole. Apples slices keep for a short time but brown quickly when exposed to air. Our family enjoys eating blueberries with our sack lunches in the car (once our kids got old enough not to smear them all over their car seats that is!). Try dried apple slices or dried fruit strips that can be easily chewed for young children who may still be messy eaters!
It’s helpful to bring baby wipes to wipe little hands and plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated. Keeping a small garbage can in your vehicle is also a great convenience. And may I be so bold as to suggest that taking plastic bags along is ideal for the occasional upset stomach!
By packing healthy, filling and tasty snacks for your excitable brood you can make your cross-country adventure go a bit smoother, cutting down on the amount of unnecessary stops and money spent and giving you more time to enjoy each other’s company. At least until you hear for the forty-seventh time, “Mom, are we there yet?”