Fun & Healthy Road Trip Snacks

With summer in full-swing, thoughts often turn to summer vacation.  If you are anything like me, you have two main goals for a family vacation:

1.  Have fun
2.  Keep it healthy as possible

Having fun is the easy part.  There’s nothing better than getting away from your normal routine in order to rest, relax, and re-charge your batteries.  When we go on vacation, we shy away from a schedule and let the kids do just about anything their little hearts desire.

The keeping it healthy part is a little more difficult.  When you’re on vacation, it is very easy to overeat on things that just aren’t that great for you.  Now, I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer here.  Of course, it is perfectly fine to let go and indulge in things that you normally don’t have on an average day.

What our family tries to do is to save special indulgences for big meals out or special snacks that we can’t get at home.  We otherwise attempt to keep smaller meals and snacks on the healthier side, thus balancing things out a bit.

One of the biggest ways we keep things a tad healthier (and less expensive!) is to pack our own road snacks.  This saves us tons of money that would have otherwise been spent on unhealthy snacks at a gas station.  I can also control the types of foods my kids are eating.  I give them choices from the selection of snacks that I pack so they can feel like they are controlling what they eat.

Snacks need to be kept simple.  There is no need to whip up a bunch of home-baked goodies that need to be individually wrapped.  While those are perfectly good snacks, who has the time to do that while packing and organizing everything for a vacation?

Here is a quick list of our favorite road trip snacks:

  • Fruit- apples, bananas, and grapes are our favorites
  • Crackers and cheese slices.  I usually purchase pre-cut pieces of cheddar for this.  Normally I cube up our cheese for snacks at home, but buying them already cut saves me a step.
  • Snack mix-  I often just throw a snack mix together using whatever cereal we have, pretzel sticks, raisins, chocolate candies if we have them, and whatever else.  You really can’t go wrong.
  • Baked potato chips
  • Granola bars
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Graham crackers
  • Fruit leather
  • Banana chips
  • Popcorn- I just pop some before we leave and separate it into individual bags for each child.
  • Cheese sticks
  • Animal Crackers
  • Fig bars
  • Pita chips
  • Mini muffins

Also be sure to take along trash bags, an ice chest to keep snacks cool, wet wipes for sticky fingers, and a roll of paper towels.

Packing our snacks saves us time, too.  There’s no stopping every couple of hours because someone is hungry.  I just get my bag of snacks and pass them out.  That way we can get to our destination faster and begin our fun vacation.

Do you have any snack staples that you like to bring along on road trips?

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