Hitting the road with the family is usually equal parts exciting and daunting. To help, these 50 healthy road trip snacks will get you started packing and eating healthy meals and snacks. Plus: My best ideas to make the trip more fun for all!
Road Trip Snacks
We’ve taken a few long trips as a family and boy oh boy, I know how unpredictable they can be when little kids are involved! But one thing that is easy to prepare is the food you bring. And while there’s of course no rule that you bring all of your food, I’m of the belief that packing food is one of the easiest ways to keep the kids (and yourself) happy when in the car for hours and hours.
TIP: Packing your own food is also an easy way to limit stops and get to your destination a little quicker.
The Best Healthy Road Trip Snacks for Families
This list includes my go-to snacks for kids and adults. Adjust how you serve some of these for littler kids as needed. And pack in a cooler or cooler bag if traveling in the summer to keep everything cool and in good shape.
- Mini Larabars
- Dino Bars (these are my favorite snack bar for one year olds since they’re so easy to eat)
- Perfect Kid Bars
- Kashi Cereal Bars
- RX Kids Bars
- Made Good Bars
- Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars
- Kind Breakfast Bars
- Whole grain crackers
- Cheese crackers
- Soft Baked Chickpeas
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- Chocolate Protein Muffins
- Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins
- Banana Zucchini Bread
- Blueberry Date Snack Cake
- Simple sandwiches
- Dried apples
- Banana chips
- Dehydrated or freeze-dried fruit
- Apple chips
- Coconut chips
- Applesauce pouches
- Baby food pouches
- Nut butter packets
- Chia pouches
- Snap peas
- Baby carrots
- Mini bell peppers
- Mini cucumbers
- Shredded or diced chicken
- Pizza Rolls
- Pizza Pockets
- String cheese
- Babybel cheese
- Yogurt pouches
- Yogurt tubes
- Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries
- Single serve milk
TIP: I like to pack more snacks than the kids usually eat at home since they tend to eat more while we’re traveling in the car. This is fine and if it worries you at all, remember that this is just one day and you’ll get back to normal eating the next day!
10 Tips for Happy Kids on Road Trips
Now that the food is covered, here are some ideas to keep your tots happy even if they’re strapped into the car.
- Leave early so the kids can (fingers crossed) sleep a little as the sun comes up.
- Plan overnight stops—with a pool if possible. This is a perfect reward and it’s a fun way to let them burn off energy after being in a carseat all day.
- Get creative when you run out of toys. I always pack a roll of painters tape and let the little kids play with water bottles (sealed!) and my sunglasses case.
- Keep an extra activity or toy stashed in case of emergencies. A new Water Wow book would be great for this!
- Let the littles stretch their legs at rest stops and try not to rush through them too much.
- Plan audio books and podcasts for the trip. We love the classic Pooh stories, Wow in the World, Circle Round, and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. (Circle Round is very soothing to listen to if you need a bit of a break!)
- Look at a map together and talk about where you are, what you’re passing, and where you’re going.
- Think through the layout of the hotel room before you get there and have a plan for where everyone will sleep. (We’ve put our littlest in a big bathroom to preserve an earlier bedtime!)
- Consider a movie night or family book time to help everyone unwind at night.
- Don’t stress about a little extra snacking. Let food be fun for the day.
TIP: And as with all things toddler related, try to be flexible, silly, and open to new adventures. I mean, who knows what fun will come your way while out on the road!
Healthy Travel Food for Kids
I have another post full of my go-to travel food for kids, including lots of tips on how to pack food so it stays organized and fresh while you’re on the go. You can find my Ultimate Guide to Healthy Travel Food here.