Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, many families – mine included - are putting pencil to paper and making preparations for their annual summer vacations. This type of planning often equates to hours in the car, and in the interest of keeping all car companions happy and sane, it’s essential to include road trip snacks in your vacation organization.
Eating on the road isn’t for the faint of heart, and it’s easy to become a victim of the vending machine villains that line the sides of most major highways. Instead of succumbing to their tempting treats – the kids will definitely try to convince you to do it - why not pack a cooler of tasty edibles that are guaranteed to make eating on the road a healthy, economical, and delicious success for your family.
1. Pack the Essentials
Always pack at least one cooler for the trip and keep a minimum of two ice packs tucked inside to keep the foods as fresh as possible.
- Be sure to include cloth or paper napkins, wet wipes and garbage bags to dispose of inedible items like banana peels and wrappers.
- On that note, keep a garbage bag in the front and back of the vehicle for easy trash disposal.
- Pack a blanket! Take advantage of scenic spots en route for an impromptu family picnic.
2. Have Fun with Your Food
In addition to providing nourishment while on the open road, the packed food can also act as a boredom buster.
Give each family member a container of grapes or apple slices. Each time you see a red (or blue or green) car, every family member must eat one piece of fruit. Alternatively, ask each family member to choose a different colour of car to monitor. Each time a member sees a vehicle in the colour of their choosing they must eat a grape/apple slice. The last person with fruit remaining is the winner.
Summer berries are in abundance during peak travel months. If you’re driving far distanced, consider stopping to by a U-Pick to collect fresh berries and stretch your legs.
3. Include Healthy and Hydrating Items
Here’s a list of healthy snack items that travel well and are ideal for consuming in the car. Be sure to pack one drink per person per every two hours on the road (especially when it’s extremely hot):
Grains: bagels, pita crackers, rice crackers, popcorn, cookies, granola bars, rice cake, sandwiches
Fruit and Veggies: cucumber slices, carrot sticks, edamame, grapes, banana, orange slices, dried fruits, cherries, melon, berries, pepper slices, broccoli florets
Protein: hard-boiled eggs, cheese strings, nuts and seeds, hummus and bean dips for veggies
Sweet treats: muffins, quick breads (sliced and portioned), cookies, bars/squares