When heading off a long trip with our kids, snacks are essential! Unfortunately, convenient snacks for kids are often very unhealthy, not to mention expensive. Keeping small kids occupied in the back seat can be challenging at the best of times, without constant cries of “I’m hungry!” resonating in the car (which can drive anyone crazy!). There are loads of healthy snack ideas out there, but so many of them can create a huge mess in the back of the car. If you’re looking for ways to save money on yummy healthy snacks on a road trip with kids that keep the car relatively clean and aren’t candy, take a look at these great ideas.
Sometimes, persuading kids to eat fruit can be difficult and certainly a battle in some cases! Often, it’s the texture of certain fruits that puts kids off or even the look of it, not to mention that it’s obviously fruit.
Dried fruit can be one of the best healthy snacks for kids. It looks different and tastes different from its fresh counterpart. It’s also much less messy than fresh fruit, as there’s no juice to accidentally squirt all over the back seat, and no messy hands wiping all over clothes. Some favorites to pack for a road trip with kids are:
- Banana chips
- Dried apple rings
- Dried apricots
You can grab these delicious, healthy snacks in specialty health food stores and lots of supermarkets have a good range of them too.
Popcorn is also a top choice for healthy snacks. And it comes in all sorts of flavors. Buy a big bag and split it up into snack-size portions in boxes or sandwich bags. We find it can get a little messy, but at least it’s dry and not too difficult to vacuum up!
You can also have a go at making it yourself, which is a great option if you’re on a budget. Here are lots of yummy popcorn recipes for some inspiration. You might even find you want some as a treat for yourself in the car!
Cottage Cheese & Blueberry Wraps
This one might sound a bit out there, but we know kids who loooooove this combo! It’s a perfect way to get the kids to have a balanced meal with carbohydrates and protein. The cottage cheese ensures you don’t have any runaway blueberries to fish out from under the seat. I recently found out that many of the cottage cheese brands on the market are packed full of sugar so you can make your own instead to have yummy healthy snacks!
Making granola bars is a great option for a no-mess and healthier bite on the go. Store-bought cereals and granola bars often have tons of sugar, glucose syrup, and additives, none of which is good for anyone!
Making your own granola bars can be a fun activity to do as a family too – and maybe even tire them out before you get on the road. You can easily pack them with other health essentials, such as a first aid kit. and they don’t have to be too difficult to make ahead either. A few examples are:
- Blueberry vanilla and Greek yogurt
- Double chocolate peanut butter
These recipes are healthy, not to mention delicious. You’ll probably save a few of them for yourself.
More Yummy Healthy Snacks: Cereals
Cereals make a great snack for long car journeys. There are lots of yummy healthy snacks, such as wholegrain cereals, cereals with much less or no added sugar, and ones without artificial flavorings.
Pop a handful of cereal in a sandwich bag or snack box for a long road trip with kids to soothe their hunger pangs. Plus, if they don’t usually have cereal as a snack, your kids might even be occupied by the novelty of it for a while!
Jerky is perfect for eating on the go. It doesn’t require any chilling or heating, and it’s practically impossible to make a mess with it. The only problem with pre-packaged jerky is that it can be extremely high in sodium. Instead, try making your own bacon jerky; it’s super simple and can last for months. Also, the kids probably won’t be able to tell the difference between yours and store-bought.
Where there is hunger, there’s inevitably thirst! Handy drinks for kids can be one of the least healthy additions to their diets, unfortunately. Juices can have lots of hidden calories, as can smoothies. Plus, they can contain a huge amount of sugar.
Instead, opt for sugar-free or no added sugar options when it comes to juice boxes, to make them healthy snacks. You can also invest in some reusable water bottles to take with you in the car. Fill these up with water for the ride. You’ll be saving money as you keep the family on a budget.
Packing Healthy Snacks on a Road Trip with Kids
While it can seem like a daunting task to provide yummy healthy snacks on the road for your little ones, the ideas above can start you on your way to doing exactly that. Hopefully, your next road trip with kids will be a bit easier now!
What are some easy snacks you take with your kids on road trips?