Food for the Road

When I was six-years-old we took our first trip to Europe. I was so excited. Excited about the trip, excited about the airplane, I was even excited about the prospect of getting to eat dinner on a plane—it felt like such a special thing. I also remember that dinner on the plane and how deeply disappointing it was, even for a six-year-old. I remember the highlight being a spongy, slightly stale piece of chocolate cake. Yuck.

Nowadays when we travel with the kids, and even when we travel on our own, I tend to go a little bit overboard on the snacks and mini-meals. I am a tad paranoid about being stranded without food, whether it be stuck in traffic on the highway or stranded in an airport with a delay. It has gotten to the point where when I offer the boys a snack while we are traveling, the boys will just keep saying, “what else do you have? What else do you have? What else do you have?” Because they know that there is almost an endless supply of goodies.

travel food

I like packing lots of snacks and avoiding the food in rest stops and airports for a couple of reasons:

1)   I know what is in the food (less salt, less sugar, fewer chemicals, etc.).

2)   I can offer healthier options.

3)   I can offer more variety for less money.

4)   The leftovers can be used as snacks wherever we are going.

The other thing I like to do when packing food for trips is include some treats that the kids don’t normally get. These treats are great as a distraction when the boys are starting to get a little squirrely and they also make the trip itself somehow more special. One tradition that we have started is that the boys know that when we take an early morning flight, one where we have to get them out of bed super early and feed them breakfast on the way to the airport, they will each get one of those Horizon Organic Chocolate Milks. Yes, it is a crazy amount of sugar, but as a special treat it is something that they look forward to when it is still dark out and they are exhausted.

Here are some of my favorite snacks and mini-meals for traveling:

  • Muffins (pumpkin, sweet potato, banana, carrot, etc.)
  • Granola bars
  • Homemade popcorn
  • Organic string cheese
  • Apples
  • Clementine oranges
  • Bananas
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Cucumber slices
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Homemade whole wheat or spelt waffle-and-cream-cheese sandwiches
  • Hummus for dipping
  • Crackers
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Trail mix
  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruit

What do you like to pack to snack on when you travel?

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