Everyone knows that traveling with kids means traveling with snacks. Snacks can help rescue your children from hunger and the ensuing crankiness. Trust us, those satisfied stomachs make for a much happier trip!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of grabbing something unhealthy, greasy or sugary when you’re on the go because it’s quick and readily accessible. Skip the chips and plan ahead with grab-and-go snacks the whole family can help make.
These seven tried-and-true favorites make great quick bites your family can take on the long road trip to Grandma’s house, perfect little somethings that kids can eat in the backseat while Dad is driving them to soccer practice, or just-in-case nibbles a child can take to a friend’s house. And because kids will help make these treats, they will be able to brag that their delicious snacks are homemade.
Some say it stands for “good old raisins and peanuts,” others say it refers to a combination of crunchy, salty, chewy and sweet things. It’s also referred to as “trail mix.” The great thing about GORP is that you can make it your own; there are infinite sweet and salty combinations to play with. Kids can choose their favorite ingredients, toss them in a bowl and mix with their hands. Plus, GORP travels best in a plastic bag, making it perfect for hikes, picnics and car trips.
Here’s a trick that will make it easier to bring vegetables and dips on your travels. Have kids put hummus or another favorite dip in the bottom of the Mason jar, then fill the jar with sliced vegetable sticks, such as carrots and celery. Top it with a lid. Hummus is a great protein-filled, on-the-go snack. Plus, kids can enjoy veggies from their own personal (spill-proof!) container.
Parfaits are another kid-friendly recipe that can be put together in a Mason jar without much supervision. Let them layer yogurt, their favorite fruit and granola for a pretty, patterned snack. Parfaits shouldn’t sit out too long, because they contain yogurt. But they are a healthy snack for kids to to eat — for breakfast or an afternoon snack — while they’re riding in the car just after leaving the house.
4. Energy Bars
DIY granola bars have many steps where kids can help. (A favorite is letting them mash the mixture into a pan.) These are easy to adapt to your family’s tastes, too, making them more personalized than any store-bought bar — plus they’re healthier. Cut up the bars and send them to sports practices, pop them into lunch boxes or keep some ready for car rides.
5. Fruit Salad
Fruit is a favorite on-the-road snack: Many come in their own peel; they are deliciously sweet, and they’re healthy for you. Of course, you can also make fruit kebabs although we don’t suggest them for car rides. Kebabs also up the fun factor: Simply have your kids choose their favorite fruits, and help slice or dice, with supervision. You can also travel with fruit salad in a plastic or metal container or a sealed jar.
Kids love making smoothies for breakfast or an afternoon snack — because they’re quick and easy, and you can make so many delicious options! Another great thing about smoothies: You can make them in advance, refrigerate them, and then take them with you in a jar, water bottle or insulated drink container.
Sometimes mornings are rushed, and more so if breakfast hasn’t been prepared in advance. Kids can help make this oatmeal the night before by mixing a few ingredients and shaking them in a jar. The steps are easy and can be done without much adult help. Come morning, the oatmeal is ready to grab and go, in case your family is running late (again).