Traveling means lots of snacks if you want to have a peaceful trip. Here are some ideas for snacks and lunches that pack well for traveling.
Don’t forget to pack napkins (a roll of paper towels is even better), plastic utensils, and paper plates or bowls. Anti-bacterial wipes are another good idea for before and after eating. Don’t forget grocery bags to use for trash. A beach towel or folded sheet will protect the car seats from stains. If you plan on stopping to picnic, bring a disposable tablecloth for the picnic tables which are often less than sanitary.
Most of the non-refrigerated items can be bought in bulk and put into snack sized zipper bags before leaving. Keep the individual baggies in a larger plastic box with a lid to minimize crushing. A small cooler will contain the other items, and frozen water bottles will serve double duty as ice packs and water as they melt.
- Individual containers of yogurt
- String cheese
- Lunch meat
- Fresh fruit
- Prewashed bags of carrots, sugar snap peas, and broccoli
- Water bottles with pop-up tops
- Fresh fruit (keep bananas in a shoe box so they won’t get squished)
- Thermos of hot water for hot chocolate or tea
- Trail mix
- Bean dip and corn chips
- Dried fruit
- Chex mix
- Cheese and crackers with pepperoni
Check out Choosing to Thrive’s neat way to pack peanut butter and celery, carrots and dip, and apples and yogurt for traveling.
Items to avoid: anything with lots of sugar or artificial ingredients like food coloring. Although many kids have no reaction to these ingredients, it will make some children so restless that you will wish you were anywhere but stuck in a car with them for several hours. Throw out trash every time you stop and your car will stay neater and you will be in a better mood.
If you are on a multi-day trip and will be staying in a motel, by all means choose one with a pool! The extra exercise will tire them out and help them to go to sleep easily instead of exhibiting the usual hyperactivity that comes with sleeping in a strange place.