Although the summer is almost over, I am happy to say that I have become way more comfortable traveling with my kids. In the past it was always a stressful situation which made me want to avoid travel altogether! Now that the boys are 3 and 6, things are a bit better and I have learned that the best way to having a great trip? Preparation!
Today I am happy to host Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition as she shares 6 Healthy Snack Ideas For Road Trips. I had the honor of meeting Sally at the Stonyfield event where she shared her tips for raising a picky eater. The event was so awesome and she was so great, I am so excited to have her expertise here today!
Be Prepared. I’ve learned the hard way that fresh food is often at a premium on road trips—so bringing your own is important. Fill a small cooler with lots of fresh fruit, plus cheese sticks, and yogurt cups (I like organic for my family – Stonyfield Organic YoKids and YoBaby come in snack-size serving cups and even Squeezers for on-the-go. You can even toss frozen Squeezers in the cooler, and they’ll slowly defrost but still stay cold). Include some single-serving nut butters and whole grain crackers and you’ll have wholesome snacks and even in-a-pinch meals you can eat at a rest stop. If you’re traveling with a baby, don’t forget to bring some pre-cut finger foods like cubes of tofu, very ripe fruit, and bites of whole wheat pasta.
Start off on the right foot. Before I load the family into the car, I make sure we start the day with a filling breakfast that includes protein to keep hunger at bay till lunch (you’ll avoid any pleas for drive-thru donuts that way!). My kids really like yogurt parfaits, and I use fancy glasses to make it more fun. We start with Stonyfield Organic Yogurt and layer on homemade granola for crunch and fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries.
Make a game out of it. Make eating healthy snacks on the road a fun endeavor. Pack colorful snacks in advance like carrot sticks, blueberries, strawberries, green grapes, etc. For each vehicle or site you pass that matches the color of a snack, the “winner” gets a corresponding bite! It gets everyone involved and engaged with their surroundings—and young kids can work on their color recognition, too.
Let them dip. For the older kids, slide fruit pieces onto popsicle sticks or thread fruit onto skewers to make car-safe kebabs that they can dip into yogurt cups. Bonus: It also makes for easy cleanup since they avoid getting their hands too sticky!
Reuse! Once kids are done with their yogurt cups, rinse them out and fill them with trail mix or granola for the trip back. It’s a good lesson in recycling and keeps portions under control.
Be Safe. Be sure any perishable road trip food is packed safely in a cooler with ice or ice packs. Also, always monitor kids carefully whenever they’re eating in the car, in case of choking. And unless there’s an adult sitting next to baby to watch for choking, avoid letting baby eat while the car is in motion.
What are your favorite healthy snacks for kids? Any road trips planned?