Note: Updated 6/14/2022
I have been so lucky to have kids that travel pretty well...so long as the snacks keep on coming. On vacation, I generally allow my kids to eat anything and boy do they indulge! Donut, cookies, ice-cream, pizza - you name it. So, I figure I can probably get some nutrients in them on the way there and back, while requiring minimal preparation before and minimal mess in the car. After all, I really don't want to be cutting fruit and boiling eggs on top of packing.
We are going on a 5 hour car ride in a few weeks, and I thought I would share the snacks that I pack for a road trip with my three dragons. These are snacks that my kids eat at home and really enjoy. I say they are healthy-ish because they are probably healthier than Pringles and licorice but probably not as healthy as boiled eggs and blueberries.
*Disclaimers 1: I am not a nutritionist, or any type of medical professional. This article is not intended as medical advice. All nutrition decisions should be ran by a professional with nutritional training. And of course, parents must determine what snacks are allergy safe and age appropriate for their own children.
Disclaimer 2: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and I may earn from purchases on Amazon links. All recommendations are my own. Of course, feel free to check if prices at your local store are cheaper.
*Why do I choose cheddar bunnies over goldfish? First, it is not always easy to find organic goldfish and regular goldfish are not Non-GMO. Also, Cheez-its have TBHQ. That is not to say my kids never have goldfish or Cheez-its, but if I have a choice I usually buy cheddar bunnies. And the price of $11.88 for 36 pouches seem like a good price to me. UPDATE: They aren't always easy to find, but I recently found out Annie's makes a whole wheat bunny!
If you are gluten free, these crackers are grain free and have simple ingredients. Unlike other crackers with preservatives you can't pronounce. The first ingredient is a nut and seed flour blend. For parents who eat Paleo this cracker is great for you too. We aren't "gluten free" here, so I personally haven't tried these yet, but I have read great reviews as far as taste goes.
*The only ingredient in these freeze-dried strawberries are...strawberries of course! According to the company that makes these, the dried berries retain nearly all of the vitamins and fiber that the fresh fruit have. So much easier than washing, cutting and packing fruit. Another easy fruit to bring are pre-packaged organic apple slices.
*I just recently came across these yummy snacks. These are vegan snacks with no added sugar. They have no preservatives and claim to be only lightly processed. My two year old particularly likes the peanut butter and jelly flavor. For kids you may want to slice them to prevent choking, especially of you are driving. I found these at Costco for a very good price, but not all the flavors are available.
All three of my kids love these protein bars with only 4 grams and sugar and 7 grams of protein! My kids usually eat these after the work out, and they think they are getting a candy bar treat, but they are gluten free, Non-GMO and have no artificial colors. The birthday cake flavor is also popular with my boys. Walmart usually has a good price on these.
*The "fruit on the go" pouches by Go Go Go Squeeze are organic and made with 100% fruit. Again, we have fruit that doesn't have to be washed and cut. If it doesn't get eaten in the car, it is not going to go bad. These are easy for toddlers and young kids to eat without making a mess too!
Update!! Previously, I recommended veggie straws as something I opt for instead of traditional chips, even though as I said they may only be mildly healthier. These are Non-GMO, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives and I think they have a little less fat. BUT I recently came across the above chips that I believe are healthier. There are only three ingredients - potatoes, avocado oil, and sea salt. And, we all know avocado oil is heart healthy!
Finally, I always bring these milks on every trip. I can throw 3 in the freezer the morning we leave and they each have a cold milk for the ride in addition to water. Also, the others can be stored at room temp because they are shelf stable. When we get to the destination, I can pop them in the fridge for the kids to have for the weekend without having to bring an ice chest.
I hope everyone traveling this summer is safe and healthy!
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