If you are traveling on a road trip, snacks are a must! Before you hit the road, check out our healthy travel snacks for kids. You will definitely save yourself Cheetos cheese stains on the seats with some of these healthy, portable options!
Travel Snack Ideas
- Fruit: It is best to bring fruit that isn’t super juicy and delicate. Our favorite options are: apple slices, cuties, grapes, blueberries, fruit squeeze pouches, dried apricots, apples or pears, freeze dried fruits.
- Trail mix: Pick up some at the store or make your own with dried berries, nuts and seeds. Avoid mixes with chocolate chips since those might melt in a toasty car. We do like to throw in mini m&m’s because they usually don’t melt.
- Whole grain crackers: Sometimes your kids need some carbohydrates to make their stomachs feel full immediately so you can make it to the next town for lunch. Whole grain crackers are a great, healthy snack that will buy you a little more mileage.
- Veggies: Crunchy, cold and satisfying – our favorite road trip veggies are: carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and snap peas.
- Fruit leather: Keep in mind with this one that not all fruit leathers are created equal. Make sure that your fruit snacks don’t have sweeteners or artificial colorings. That being said there are multiple brands on the market that are sweetened and colored with fruit juice and relatively mess free.
- Whole grain cereal: Cereal makes for a great snack that won’t make a mess when served dry. Pack individual servings of cereals that aren’t high in sugar so your kids don’t get stir crazy from all the sweeteners.
- Rice cakes: Rice cakes are mess free and come in a variety of flavors if you kids don’t like them plain. I usually put peanut butter or almond butter on them so my kids get a little protein too, but that may not be feasible for your kids in the car, depending on age and rambunctious nature.
- Pita chips: Pita chips are a great way to satisfy a chip craving . They have also become popular enough that you can find them at lots of grocery stores.
- Jerky: Depending on the age of your kids sometimes a little protein is a great snack. An added bonus is that jerky has a lot of protein so your kids will feel fuller from it longer. You can find a variety of jerky nowadays, ranging from buffalo jerky to turkey jerky.
- Pretzels: These are super crunchy and satisfying – and lots of varieties are whole grain.
- Air-popped popcorn: This is one of our favorite snack foods in general, and so for us it is naturally a snack we love to munch on when we are on the road.
- Cheese Sticks: Add a bit of protein and calcium – we love to pair cheese with our fruit and veggies. Apples + cheese, celery + cheese, even cucumbers + cheese. Mmmmmm.
- Mini muffins: We make a batch ahead of time and freeze it. Then add them to our snack stash and after an hour or so they thaw and are ready to eat!
- Hummus and Guac packs: a lot of stores sell pre-packaged hummus and guac that make it convenient and easy to bring for dipping all the things!
- Granola Bars: These are a quick carb boost for kids and are easy to throw in.
- Energy Bites: If you have time before you trip to make a batch, kids love these small perfect size snack. We have tons of recipes on out site for these.
Instead of bringing all of the packaging – boxes, bags, plastic – we like to empty the snacks we are bringing into containers reducing the amount of garbage we have floating around all over in the car!
It is really convenient to be able to pack one container with all of the snacks, and then distribute as needed. We like to put ours in this insulated car cooler. It is just the right size to fit everything, it is soft and so it can squeeze into tighter spaces, and it is insulated to keep things cold.
We have two different favorite individual containers that we love to pack snacks in. They are the Easy Lunchbox Brand. They are inexpensive, hold up really well, are easy to open and close, keep food sealed tight and hold the perfect amount of food!
If you have some food options that are a little more bulky, then this container is a great option. It has 2 smaller compartments and one larger compartment. You can fit things like a bagel, sandwich, wrap, etc.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie