When we’re heading off to a long trip with our kids, snacks are an essential item! Unfortunately, convenient snacks for kids are often pretty unhealthy, not to mention expensive. Keeping our small kids occupied in the back seat can be challenging at the best of times, without constant cries of “I’m hungry!” resonating around the car (which can drive anyone crazy).
We found that there are loads of healthy snack ideas out there, but so many of them have the capacity to create a huge mess in the back of our car. If you’re looking at ways to save money on snacks, keep the car relatively clean, and, most importantly, keep your kids as healthy as possible, take a look at our yummy ideas.
Sometimes, persuading our kids to eat fruit can be difficult and certainly a battle in some cases! Often, it’s the texture of certain fruits which puts kids off or even the look of it, and that it’s obviously fruit.
Dried fruit can be a great healthy snack for kids; it looks different and tastes different to its fresh counterpart. It’s also much less messy than fresh fruit, as there’s no juice to be squirted over the back seat and no messy hands wiped on clothes. Banana chips dried apple rings, and dried apricots are some of the favorites. You can grab these in health food shops super easily and lots of supermarkets do a good range.
Popcorn is a great healthy snack 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 for yourself!
Making your own granola bars is a great option for a no-mess and healthier snack. Shop bought cereal and granola bars are often packed with sugar, glucose syrup, and additives which aren’t good for anyone!
Making your own can be a fun exercise to do with the kids as well (and maybe tire them out before you get on the road). You can pack them with your kids’ favorite things and they don’t have to be too difficult either. We have a few favorites are blueberry vanilla & greek yogurt as well as double chocolate peanut butter. These recipes are healthy not to mentions delicious (we usually save a few for ourselves).
Cereals make a great snack for long car journeys. There are lots of healthier options such as wholegrain cereals, cereals with much less or no added sugar and ones without artificial flavorings.
Pop a handful in a sandwich bag or snack box for long journeys to soothe those hunger pangs – if you don’t usually have cereal as a snack, your kids might even be occupied at the novelty for a while!
Cold Smoked Vegetables
You don’t want to be feeding the kids snacks all day, they need a proper meal. You’ll be sneaking vegetables into your kids’ diet can be tough. We’ve had some great success by changing up the flavors.
Try throwing some the veggies in a traeger tailgater. These veggies only need 30 minutes, once done mix up the veggie in a plastic container and seal for the car. The kids can enjoy these cold and with the yummy flavor, we found no food gets wasted or found squashed under the seat!
Where there is hunger, there’s inevitably thirst! Handy drinks for kids can be one of the least healthy additions to their diets, there can be lots of hidden calories in juices and smoothies and they can contain a huge amount of sugar. Opt for sugar-free or no added sugar options when it comes to juice boxes, to make for a healthier snack. You can also invest in some reusable water bottles to take with you in the car and fill these up with squash for the ride (this is healthy on the wallet too).
It can seem like a daunting task when it comes to staying healthy on the road with small kids, but with these ideas, it should be a little easier!
Contributed by Claire Adams