Healthy Snacks on a Long Road Trips

The car is packed, the trip is planned perfectly, and the kids are drooling to leave out the door. But maybe you are forgetting one of the most important aspects. You search around the house for anything you might be forgetting.  You finally find what you are looking for in the kitchen.  Its usually the last thing to pack is the cooler and the bag of snacks.  But this isn’t something that can always be pulled together at the last minute. Snacks for the trip should be well planned and with a large variety available.

The first road trip we took with our 2 year old daughter almost lead to disaster.  We had told ourselves that we weren’t going to give in to any sugar snacks on the entire trip. We packed apple juice and water, fruits and vegetables.  We really had done a great job.  As all young children on trips, we stopped several times and the trip became increasingly long.  Our daughter’s patience ran out with just over thirty minutes left on our drive.  Our daughter started by moaning and groaning.  This progressed to slight screams.  Five minutes later, it was a full melt down with spitting, crying, and even some choking.

As we looked at each other, our hair started to fall out as we tried to keep our calm.  Finally, I ripped out a piece of red licorice and passed it back to her. The calmness that ensued was more than perfect. She sucked, chewed, and splattered that piece of candy for the remainder of the drive. We were more than happy to give her a sugar treat and we didn’t feel a moment of guilt.

We’ve also had those trips of sugar overload.  Each one of them were disasters.  During those trips, we gave our kids candy  first, last, and everywhere in between.  Sugar in car rides can lead to huge ups and downs. It usually only helps for a few minutes, and soon they are not only agitated but hungry again.

Let’s discuss some of the best foods to bring on trips: 


Fruits in the form of sliced up apples, grapes, or oranges can be a great initial snack while driving.  If you use a cooler, they can easily stay fresh and are less messy.

Dried fruit can also change the variety and can help curb a whinny kid right before or after meals.  Dried bananas, mixes of fruits and nuts, and even dried cranberries and other smaller fruits can be a fun mixture.


Carrots and celery are a great mid day snack. Typically these aren’t always the favorite, but use them early with promises of better snacks to come.


This has a large variety of choices, from small crackers like gold fish or large crackers like gram crackers. The large problem obviously is the mess that crackers can make. IF you can find a solution for this….let us all know.


Pistachios, Walnuts, peanuts, sun flower seeds and any combination of these are excellent at keeping kids and even drivers awake.  The nuts themselves can be lost in the seats, so it can be an issue. But at least it isn’t sticky and crumbs.


Kids surprisingly love yogurt.  Well usually.  Give them a spoon or cut open the plastic on elongated Go-Gurts and a small party has started.


Very similar to crackers are chips. There are a ton of choices and often a ton of crumbs


A large variety of sweets from chocolate to cookies, and from ice cream sandwiches to hard candies. Sweats should always be added to the mixture. They hopefully aren’t the mainstay or even close. But kids and even adults need a break from the healthy and get into the tasty fun.


Often it will be the snacks that will make or break a long trip. Food is something everyone loves and it can break up the time, invite sharing, and even can be made into games, behavior control and much more. Healthy food is a great thing to teach children. Snacks are often overlooked on long road trips, but next time, give them a try.

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