Summer Snacks Part 2: Traveling with kids

Ants on a log borrowed from the craftycrow.net

School’s out or you have little ones or you homeschool or you are going on vacation, no matter the scenario when you have kids you are running around with them in the car. The inevitable happens, “I’m hungry.” “I’m thirsty.” What is your first instinct? Pull into the drive through stop at a convenience store?

Been there, done that in the past myself and from time to time it doesn’t hurt to go grab an Icee or if you are lucky a Slurpie especially in the heat of the summer. But on a regular basis not only does it get expensive it isn’t healthy. What’s a parent to do? It is hard to concentrate or get anything done once the hungry or thirsty or worse yet hungry and thirsty mantra starts coming out of the back seat. That lovely child you gave birth to turns into something evil when it gets this way. Our solution is to pack a lunch box for short trips and a cooler for longer ones.

But I drive a small car! There is always room to put a small cooler, you don’t have to get a huge one unless you have an army to feed or teenagers. If you have an army of teenagers you will more than likely have a large vehicle and fit in a large cooler.

I like to stock mine, thankful now for the Big Blue Beast, with snacks and drinks the kids have  picked out. Some of the things we carry along with us are:

  • Bottle water
  • 100% no sugar added juice boxes
  • Iced Tea
  • Cheese chunks
  • Crackers
  • Fruits such as apples (whole or cut up), raisins, bananas, oranges, berries, grapes
  • Veggie sticks or even just plain old baby carrots and even lettuce and spinach
  • If we have had a whole roast, chicken or turkey breast I will slice these up like sandwich meat
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Homemade chips
  • Peanut butter
Letting the kids pick out their own snacks to take with us on the road is fun. I have small containers for various dips or to have single servings of something. I keep ice packs at the ready all the time and have been known to throw juice boxes in the freezer as well. Nothing like a cold slushy juice box on a hot summer day.
The variety and amount varies depending on whether or not we are on a road trip, planning a day at the beach or just running errands. I don’t know about your kids but I know mine presume that getting the vehicle means it is time to eat. Healthy filling snacks will avoid melt downs with your little ones if you have to spend all day running around.
I tend to keep more drinks than snack food on errand days, especially in the summer. For fall and winter when it is colder invest in a couple of thermoses and make some hot chocolate to take along or a favorite herbal tea.

Ants on a Log

Ingredients:

  • Celery
  • Peanut butter
  • Raisins

Directions:

  • Cut celery stalks into 2 inch sections
  • Fill with peanut butter
  • Place raisins on top of the peanut butter
Quick easy and can be made on the road.

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