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Road Trip Snacks: Simple, Healthy Foods for Kids on the Go

boy on road trip

Mobile munchies are a necessity for busy families. Even if you never plan to take a long-distance road trip with your kids, chances are, feeding your kids in the car is an (almost) daily occurrence. It can be challenging to keep foods handy that stay fresh, are easy for little fingers to manage, won’t make a mess all over the car (and your kid), and aren’t full of ingredients you’re trying to avoid.

We know.

Whether you’re driving across town or across the country, we’ve got six tips for providing kid-friendly, healthy snacks on the go.

1. Think small: car snacks aren’t a meal
Snacking in the backseat is not meant to replace a well-balanced, nutritious meal, so go for little bites that take the edge off while keeping the appetite ON! Try string cheese, whole-grain crackers, nuts, veggies (edamame are a kid-friendly food fave), dried fruit, or fresh berries. 

2. Keep an emergency snack stash 
You’re a parent traveling with young children: You never know what adventure is right around the corner! Be prepared by stocking your center console with a few non-perishables like fruit leather, trail mix, single-serve packs of jerky, or low-sugar granola bars. 

3. Use containers 
Keep your car cleaner with anti-spill snack traps, reusable snack bags, and spill-proof cups! For hot days, we love PackIt® freezable bags that keep fresh foods cool for hours. And let’s face it, the car might not ever be clean. You’re still an awesome parent either way! The most important thing is that your family is safe and sound (and fed).

4. Avoid backseat snack mishaps
It happens to the best of us: a snack choice gone horribly wrong. It’s okay. Nothing a little TLC can’t fix. But if you want to avoid the hassle altogether, steer clear of these types of foods in the car:

• Creamy, squishy, or gooey things like yogurt tubes, applesauce cups, squeeze pouches, or nut butter packets. 
• Crumbly stuff like croissants, muffins, scones … you get the picture. Your kid might take that crumbly delight and make it rain. In your car.
• Choking hazards like popcorn, grapes, carrots, hot dogs, or anything that you know your child overstuffs on. 
• Melty morsels like even the tiniest bits of chocolate in a cookie. Add a hot car or a sunny window, and POOF, that delicious little drop of heaven is an ooey-gooey mess all over your kiddo and your car.

5. Consider a clean-up crew 
A hand vacuum, baby wipes, a punch card at your local car wash, and a few old towels, washcloths, or rags, will keep your mobile office in tip-top shape. 

Whether you try just one or all of these ideas, once you have found the tips that work for you, get out there and GO places!