As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s clear that most of us are no stranger to the road trip this time of year. And to be honest, road trips can be long, a bit crazy, and a little bit intense. Sometimes the best cure for a sibling fight or the beginnings of a headache is some good, old fashioned, road trip snacks. If you’re looking to beat the cost of gas station fare (or perhaps have better food), here are a few ideas.
Not only is trail mix an awesome road trip snack because it mixes fruit, proteins from nuts, and other great brain-power type foods, but it’s also fun to eat and easily portable. You can whip up easy bags of trail mix yourself by pouring various foods into single-serve baggies, which you can pass to your kids (or pelt them with it, depending on how they’re behaving, am I right?). Try: cashews, leftover candy corn, craisins, apple cinnamon Cheerios, sunflower seeds, mini Nilla Wafers, M&Ms, Goldfish
Seriously, there’s no reason to overlook fresh fruit. Many fruits pack well without a baggie or any sort of refrigeration (like apples and oranges), and fruit does something that a lot of other road trip foods can’t– it boosts blood sugar when you’re hitting crisis mode. We’ve all been there. Everything is going fine and then suddenly it’s a war zone in the backseat. A lot of times, that’s a result of dips in blood sugar (as well as long periods of close proximity, but still). Give the kiddos something sweet, but not too sweet, and things will mellow out. Fruit is the perfect choice for this because there’s minimal sugar crashing later.
There are actually quite a few travel-friendly snacks out there that require just a little chill. If you’re not traveling too far on your excursion, you can get away with a small cooler filled with ice, or even a lunchbox with an ice pack. Items like Go-Gurt, String Cheese, and Ranch Dressing for fresh veggies are low-mess and delicious for kids of all ages. Another great one? Pre-peeled hard boiled eggs– it’s great protein, which will really help!
One of the easiest ways to handle road trip snacks with easy distribution and no “It’s MY turn for the bag! MOMMMMM, he’s not passing it over here!” is to take a large bag and distribute toss-able cups. Popcorn and Goldfish crackers work especially well for this one!
Did you think those little squeeze pouches were just for babies? Not anymore– applesauce, pudding, and other fruit and veggie blends for all ages are now available in a squeeze pouch, which is perfect for road trip snacking because there’s no spoon required! Looking for another option? Try a snack necklace– have your kids string cereal and dried fruit onto a thread, tie into a necklace shape, and let them wear-and-snack on the way. It’s a great activity for kids before getting into the car.